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J Contemp Dent Pract. 2011 Jan 1;12(1):1-7.

Comparison of knowledge, attitudes and practice of dental safety from eight countries at the turn of the century.

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  • 1Diagnostic Sciences Texas A&M Health Science Center, Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas, Texas, USA.



To compare infection control (IC) knowledge, attitudes and practice of dentists across eight countries.


Self-administered infection control surveys were completed by 1,874 clinicians in eight countries. Practitioner's knowledge, attitudes, and practice of infection control were examined using over 100 variables. Chi-squared statistics (α = 0.05) were used to compare respondents from different national groups.


Immunizations rates varied significantly across the eight countries (p < 0.01) with Asian countries having a lower rate of immunization against HBV than the United States practitioners. Perceived risk of acquiring HIV varied significantly across the study groups (p < 0.01); China had the lowest portion (75%). Dentists in the US reported 92% surface barrier use; only 15% in China reported use. Only 58% of practitioners in Pakistan reportedly used disposable exam gloves; 97% of US practitioners regularly use these gloves. For all groups assessed, including the United States, little over 50% of practitioners understood and practiced Universal/Standard (UP/SP) precautions effectively.


Analyses from this study suggest that the dental IC knowledge and practice varied widely across the eight countries of interest. Many of the countries were found to have barriers to access IC materials. Results indicate that all eight countries could use improved education standards for universal precautions.


Knowledge, attitudes and practice of dental safety vary in different parts of the world. This study compares the compliance rates in dental safety among countries and pegs them to the level of practice in the United States. This study also provides evidence-based data on the needs in the regions surveyed and could be used to implement remedial educational measures in improving safe practices.

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