Cross-infection control in dental practice in the Republic of Ireland

HPO Kearns, Frederick Burke, SW Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the infection control procedures used in general dental practices in the Republic of Ireland. DESIGN: Postal survey. SETTING: The Republic of Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: 250 general dental practices. METHODS: Postal questionnaire. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Use of infection control procedures; gloves, masks, sterilisation of instruments, staff training. RESULTS: A 74% response rate (n = 177), with 162 wearing gloves for all patients, 97% of whom used latex gloves. Routine glove use by 69% of dental nurses. Approximately one third of respondents complained of hand skin irritation attributed to the wearing of latex gloves. Routine mask wearing during treatment was reported by 68% of respondents. The method of choice for sterilising instruments was the steam autoclave for 97%. Time spent on surgery cleaning between patients was less than one minute in 12 per cent of practices. CONCLUSIONS: Cross-infection control procedures practiced by a high proportion of the respondents to the survey conform to guidelines suggested by various authorities. Further education may be appropriate in a number of areas such as mask wearing and the need to change gloves between patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalInternational dental journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • sterilisation of instruments
  • masks
  • gloves
  • cross-infection control


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