Revue Belge de Médecine Dentaire vol:55 issue:1 pages:51-60
Serious infections can readily be transmitted in the dental situation when percutaneous injuries occur. In most cases needlestick injuries are responsible. In this way, dentists are at risk of professionally acquired infectious diseases with high morbidity and mortality, such as Human Immunodeficiency disease, Hepatitis B or C. Today, immunisation is only possible for HB virus and not for the other bloodborne infectious micro-organisms discussed. The transmission risk is influenced by the type and number of micro-organisms present in the blood, presence of visible blood on the needle, depth of the injury and size and type of needle used. Prevention is of paramount importance. Increased emphasis in the prevention of percutaneous injuries as part of infection control training is indicated.