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J Dent. 1994 Dec;22(6):349-51.

Factors affecting the role of dental surgery assistants in cross-infection control in dental practice.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Surgery, University of Manchester Dental Hospital, UK.


A study of cross-infection control in general dental practices in the North Western Health Region of England suggested that much of its quality might lie in the hands of dental surgery assistants (S. Doohan, 1991, personal communication). The present paper describes part of a programme of work intended to improve cross-infection control in general dental practices and to discover any factors which might affect this control. A qualitative study of dental surgery assistants' behaviour was used to devise an interview schedule for making quantitative assessments; these were made in visits to 82 general dental practices. A high proportion of DSAs were aware that they are failing to carry out cross-infection control procedures and were worried by this.

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