Georgia Regents University’s College of Dental Medicine, the state’s only dental school, requires annual training for all dental and dental hygiene students, faculty and staff on the latest infection control methods in dentistry. The university also practices these infection control methods in its dental clinics, according to Dr. Kevin Plummer, GRU Professor of Oral Rehabilitation and Chair of the Infection Control and Hazards Committee.
Plummer is available for comment on the College of Dental Medicine’s infection control and safety compliance instruction and practice.
“The College of Dental Medicine follows all recommendations concerning infection control and sterilization issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association. All instruments are cleaned, inspected and sterilized by high pressure steam autoclaves that are monitored continually, and each instrument package contains monitors to verify the sterilization was effective. Personnel follow written protocols concerning personal hygiene and surface disinfection techniques. Your safety and health are our top priority,” Plummer said in a recent statement to patients.
The dental school and its clinics also follow Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for blood borne pathogens in the workplace, Plummer said.
Plummer served as a consultant to the United States Army Surgeon General for infection control and OSHA compliance in dental settings for the last seven of his 21 years of active duty military service with the Army Dental Corps. His work has also been cited in “Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings,” a manual published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Plummer received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Emory University.
Last week, a health department in Tulsa, Okla. had to open a free testing clinic for as many as 7,000 dental patients who may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C from a dentist cited as a health “menace” because of alleged unsanitary conditions at his two dental clinics.
“Dentistry is an extremely safe environment for patients and dental healthcare providers. Our school practices the very latest techniques and follows the most current recommendations for infection control practices, and with our new building, we have the very latest equipment that is available to ensure the safety of our patients,” Plummer said.