After a June 9 infection prevention and control inspection at Upper Middle Dental in Burlington, Ontario, the Halton Region Health Department reports that clients who received dental services there may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used for procedures.
“Improperly cleaned dental instruments carry a low risk of transmitting infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to clients,” said Daniela Kempkens, MD, acting medical officer of health for the Halton Region.
“As a precaution, the Halton Region Health Department recommends that all clients who have ever received dental services at Upper Middle Dental contact their physician (or go to a walk-in clinic if they do not have a physician) to discuss testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV,” said Kempkens.
A Halton Region Health Department re-inspection on June 14 confirmed that the dental office now meets required infection prevention and control standards. The health department has sent letters to past and current clients of the dental office to notify them and recommend that they contact their physician.
The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario notes that cases like this are extremely rare, with dentists extensively trained on infection prevention, including mandatory continuous education on the subject. The organization is now reviewing its Guidelines on Infection Prevention and Control in the Dental Office.
For more information about the investigation and potential infection, patients can visit halton.ca or call the Halton Region Health Department at 311, (905) 825-6000, or (866) 442-5866. Inquiries related specifically to Upper Middle Dental can be directed to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario at rcdso.org.