Occupational hygiene practices of dentists in southern Thailand

Leggat, Peter A., Chowanadisai, Suthipong, Kukiattrakoon, Boonlert, Yapong, Bunjerd, and Kedjarune, Ureporn (2001) Occupational hygiene practices of dentists in southern Thailand. International Dental Journal, 51 (1). pp. 11-16.

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Objectives: The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence and nature of infection control, radiation control and handling of mercury, reported by dentists in southern Thailand.

Method: A cross-sectional study with self-report questionnaire to all 220 dentists working in 14 provinces in southern Thailand in 1997.

Results: 178 dentists (80.9%) aged 22–54 years responded. All reported wearing personal protective measures, at least sometimes and using high level disinfection (formerly sterilisation) procedures for handpieces. Most (93.8%) reported changing sterilised handpieces for each patient. The most commonly reported method of high level disinfection was alcohol (37.1%). Just over two-thirds (68.0%) reported having HBV vaccination. Most (94.3%) reportedly took precautions when radiographs were taken and (89.9%) reported protecting their eyes with a UV/blue light shield or filter while using these units. About half of dentists (51.7%) reported storing excess amalgam under water compared with 20.1% that they stored it in a closed box. 77.7% reported using sealed mercury amalgam capsule systems, at least sometimes. Nearly half (47.1%) reported disposing of used capsules in the bin.

Conclusions: The present study has indicated that occupational hygiene practices of dentists in southern Thailand are generally consistent with published guidelines for infection control and also with other populations of dentists studied in the areas of infection control and radiation protection. Further continuing education and investigation of appropriate interventions to promote good occupational hygiene standards may also be needed.

Item ID: 13233
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1875-595X
Keywords: dentistry; occupational hygiene; dentists; Thailand; infection control; sterilisation; high level disinfection; Hepatitis B; HIV infection; dental instruments; dental equipment; mercury; amalgam
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2012 04:58
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1105 Dentistry > 110599 Dentistry not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920402 Dental Health @ 100%
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