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VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 2 ( July-September, 2010 ) > List of Articles


The Rationale for Dental Safety

Dennis Youngblood, Anil Reddy, Raghunath Puttaiah

Citation Information : Youngblood D, Reddy A, Puttaiah R. The Rationale for Dental Safety. World J Dent 2010; 1 (2):129-134.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1027

Published Online: 01-09-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).


Dental infection control and occupational safety are very important aspects of dentistry. It is quintessential to provide safe care to patients and at the same time not to be affected personally by occupational hazards. While patient safety addresses control of disease transmission to patients during care, occupational safety addresses control of occupational hazards to the care provider. Collectively, we can refer to both patient safety and occupational safety as “dental safety”.

“Primum non nocere” or “first, do no harm” is the key to providing safe dental care. Dentistry has evolved in science, technology and esthetics over the years, and around making various types and options of treatments available, but dental safety has not kept pace with changes and advancements. This is not due to lack of availability of information, materials and equipment, but due to lack of importance given to safety in comparison with other fields of dental sciences. While dental care is important in improving oral health, dental safety is important in controlling morbidity and mortality that is more important than improving oral health.

In this manuscript, we address the rationale for understanding the need for dental safety. We address recent status in epidemiology of infectious diseases, including HIV, infectious diseases commonly encountered during provision of dental care, routes of disease transmission, Spaulding's classification of surfaces, universal and standard precautions, additional precautions while anticipating certain diseases or during certain endemics and epidemics, and finally infectious disease related stigma impacting universal precautions.

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