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SADJ. 2009 Oct;64(9):408-10.

Tuberculosis part 4: Control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in dental care facilities.

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Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, Pretoria, South Africa.


The risk of transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in oral healthcare facilities is probably low, but the consequences if it occurs, are grave. The greatest risk of exposure to Mtb transmission is associated with treating dental patients from communities with a high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV disease because these patients may have active TB but be unaware of their status. The risk of Mtb transmission in the dental surgery is heightened by dental treatment with ultrasonic and air operated high speed instruments that generate aerosols. This article offers recommendations for the necessary components of an effective Mtb infection control programme.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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