'One in nine dentists are in breach of strict rules designed to halt the spread of blood-borne diseases (Human Mad Cow Disease (vCJD), HIV, Hepatitis) inspectors found'
What this recent news article is telling us is that it is possible to be infected with an incurable, untreatable disease vCJD via stainless steel dental instruments. The question that everyone should be askign their dentists is this:
Can you guarantee 100% that all of the dental instruments that you are using have been decontaminated to remove rogue infectious prions which cause vCJD. If they are unable to give you is 'NO' to this question then they are putting your health at risk imo.
According to the telegraph article 1,667 dental practices were inspected last year by the CQC, 189 were found to not be following Department of Health instructions on how to clean instruments and surgeries. Some 8,100 dentists are registered in England.
'Inspectors warned: " People may not be fully protected against the risks of cross infection"
The risk of patients catching blood-borne infections such as Human Mad Cow Disease through inadequately sterilised equipment is low but not without precedent. In 2009, 5000 patients in Bristol and Bournemouth were offered blood tests for HIV and hepatitis after a dentist was found to have not sterilised equipment properly.
Rogue prions that cause vCJD cannot be destroyed by conventional sterilising methods, why are dentists not advising their patients about this serious health issue. Dentists need to be open, honest and transparent with their patients about the risks of any blood-borne diseases through dentistry including the most serious which is vCJD.
So, do you think that dentists should be saying to their patients "If I've been slack and unhygenic then I may be giving you vCJD"? I don't think you can expect dentists to be "open and honest" if they are not also the kind of people to be careful and avoid the infection in the first place.
So they would only ever say "Yes of course I have taken the proper precautions". If you don't trust your dentist to take this seriously, then how could you ever trust him to answer the question honestly?
The point of inspections is to keep on top of this sort of issue, and they are clearly taking it seriously and providing training and pressure where required.
Whatever way you look at this story about dirty dentists, nobody should be exposed to human mad cow disease in 2012, all stainless steel dental & surgical instruments should be automatically decontaminated to remove any trace of infectious rogue prions. I cannot believe that the public are still being put at risk from this incurable disease be it small risk or not, there should be no risk. It is shocking that 5000 people in Bristol & Bournemouth have been told they are now at risk of a blood borne disease due to poor infection controls by their dentist. Name and shame the 189 dentists in the article. Awful.