Reuse of Disposable Items According to the General Characteristics of and Infection-Control Awareness Among Dental Hygienists

Bo-Young  Park1   Hie-Jin  No2,*   

1Gangnam Apple Tree Dental Clinic, Seoul, 06626, Korea
2Department of Dental Hygiene, Yonsei University, Wonju 26493, Korea


Objectives: This study investigated the reuse of disposable dental care items recommended for single use in the infection-control guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and determined the correlation between the general characteristics of and awareness of infection control among dental hygienists and the reuse of disposable dental-care items.Methods: The reuse of six items (prophylaxis cup, prophylaxis brush, plastic saliva ejector, syringe needle, orthodontic bracket, and gloves) by 277 dental hygienists was investigated.Results: The rate of reuse of disposable dental-care items differed according to the hospital type, presence of infection-control guidelines, and experience of infection-control education over the past two years (p<0.05). The rate of reuse of disposable dental-care items was significantly lower in the group that recognized personal protective equipment management, sterilization and disinfection, surface infection control, and dental equipment management as important (p<0.05).Conclusion: For a safe dental-care environment, specific guidelines on the prohibition of the reuse of disposable products are required, and hygienists should be educated regarding the dangers of reuse of disposable dental-care products.

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