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Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
 

Infection prevention and control in dentistry

04 Nov 2015

The Dental Board of Australia (the Dental Board) together with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) hosted a forum on Thursday 22 October 2015 with some of our key partners to focus our attention on effective infection prevention and control by dental practitioners.

We were joined by a range of professional associations for all the registered dental professions; our co-regulators – Dental Council of New South Wales and the Queensland Office of Health Ombudsman; the Chief Medical Officer and representatives of Commonwealth and State health departments and public dental services; those involved with the education and training of dental practitioners; consumer representatives; and representatives of the Australian Commission on Safetyand Quality in Health Care.

The forum provided an opportunity for all of us to develop new, and build on existing, partnerships to gain a better understanding of how to support dental practitioners to practise effective infection prevention and control. The overall goal isto minimise the risk to the public of transmission of healthcare associated infections during dental treatment.

The discussions on the day will inform the work of the Dental Board as we reviewour current Guidelines on infection control (the Guidelines). We will continue to engage with these partners and others as this review progresses so that dental practitioners understand the expected standards of infection prevention and control practice; the principles that underpin this practice; and the resources available to support them in meeting these standards.

We have published additional guidance, including a checklist, so that dental practitioners and their staff can reflect on how well they apply the current requirements in their practise.

All dental practitioners registered with the Board are required to complete CPD as part of their registration. The Board encourages dental practitioners to reflect on their current understanding of infection prevention and control principlesand how to apply them and to complete CPD in this area to ensure their knowledge and skills are current.

The annual renewal of registration for dental practitioners has commenced. When practitioners renew their registration they undertake to comply with all relevant legislation, Board registration standards, codes and guidelines. This includes the Guidelines on infection control. We expect that dental practitioners renewing their registration willtake the time to consider how they comply with these requirements and to discuss the expected standards with their colleagues, employees and patients.

It is critical that members of the public understand what they can expect of their dental practitioners in effective infection prevention and control.We have published Tips for dental patients to make sure they are getting safe care from their dental practitioner. Dental practitioners are best placed to both provide assurance to their patients and support them in their understanding of good infection prevention and control practice.

Further information can be found on the Infection control obligations of dental practitioners page. We will publish any future consultation papers on the Current consultations page.

Dr John Lockwood, AM
Chair, Dental Board of Australia
Martin Fletcher
CEO, AHPRA

 

 
 
 
Page reviewed 4/11/2015