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Monday, September 26, 2022
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ADA Revises Infection Control Guide for Post-Covid World


The ADA released a revised version of its infection control guide, the first update to the manual since the pandemic began 2 years ago.

The American Dental Association released The ADA Practical Guide to Effective Infection Prevention and Control, Fifth Edition, the first update of this manual since the COVID-19 pandemic struck dental offices and the world.

The guide outlines the importance of implementing comprehensive infection prevention and control practices in the dental office as well as other treatment settings.

“Since the guide was last published, dentistry, like the rest of society, has been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shannon Mills, DDS, lead author, member of the ADA’s standards committee for dental products and former board chair of the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention.

“Just as reports of Hepatitis B and HIV transmission from dentists to patients in the early 1990s led to transformative changes in dental infection prevention practice to prevent bloodborne pathogens transmissions, COVID-19 has created another inflection point as the profession responds to mitigate risk for respiratory transmission.”

This revised edition features new chapters on dental water quality and pandemic preparedness and synthesizes the most current science-based recommendations for infection prevention and control in dental settings.

This guide also includes a self-assessment checklist of current infection control practices and review questions to reinforce important concepts. An accompanying continuing education quiz worth three credits is available at ADACEonline.org.

Mills said that in addition to the emphasis on preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2, the new guide also prepares offices to address other respiratory diseases such as influenza and measles.

“The guide also addresses recent reports of outbreaks associated with biofilm in dental waterlines and emphasizes the importance of good dental water management,” he said. “The importance of creating a culture of safety where infection prevention and safety are integral to every aspect of dental practice is a strong recurring theme. To achieve these goals, each dental office should have a properly trained health care professional responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures based on science-based regulations, guidelines and best practices.”

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