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Dental Bib Chain Contamination

Background | Resources


Background

A study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Dentistry Oral Microbiology Laboratory found that dental bib clips may be potential sources of cross-contamination in the dental office. As part of the study, researchers sampled 50 bib clips from hygiene and dental operatories. One out of five bib clips were found to have a presence of significant microorganisms. Of most concern were the pathogenic species found: pseudomonas, S. aureus and the enteric bacteria, E. coli.

Bacteria from one patient can stay on the clip and be passed on to the next patient or dental healthcare worker. The species comprising the contamination on the clips were consistent with coming from saliva and/or dental plaque, skin or water lines.

Ways to avoid the risk of bib chain contamination include effective sterilization of chains between patients or choosing a disposable bib holder that is discarded with the bib.

Source: Study Finds Bib Chain Potential Source of Bacteria


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Resources

   

Study: Dental Bib Clips Can Harbor Oral and Skin Bacteria Even After DisinfectionResearchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Forsyth Institute published a study today that found that a significant proportion of dental bib clips harbored bacteria from the patient, dental clinician and the environment even after the clips had undergone standard disinfection procedures in a hygiene clinic.
Study: Many bib clips harbor bacteria after disinfectionA new study has found that 20% to 30% of dental bib clips still harbor bacterial contaminants even after proper disinfection procedures.
Study: Bacteria found on 70% of dental bib holdersInconsistent sterilization of dental bib holders resulted in a bacterial load of 70%, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Witten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Dental bib chains carry potentially dangerous germs, Fox News reportsFox News has joined the host of media outlets reporting on recent studies that reveal the potential for cross-contamination in dental offices.
Patients Urged to Ask Their Dentist about the Risk for Cross-ContaminationCross contamination is a process through which the bacteria can be transferred from one patient to the other through the dental equipment used at the office such as bib chains, holders, saliva trays, etc. According to an international scientist working in the field of infection control, it is extremely important that patients will ask their dentist about the risk of cross-contamination they might be exposed to in a dental office.
Bugs, bibs, and the chain of infectionIncreasingly, used bib holders have come under scrutiny as a potential source of cross-contamination.
Dental Bib Chains Pose Cross Contamination ThreatCross contamination can occur when a bib chain ‘grabs' onto hair or accumulates patients' sweat, make-up, and neck acne, not to mention the oral substances that spray out of the mouth. During a dental cleaning, saliva, plaque and even blood can come in contact with the bib and bib chain.
 
Dental Bib Chains are Potential Source for Infection and  Disease                                          
Wet, used towels left in the gym. Dirty tissues discarded by someone suffering from a nasty cold. A toothbrush discovered in a hotel room. Most of us would never use or even touch these items. But without knowing it, we may be sharing something that could be just as disgusting and potentially dangerous. When we visit a dental office and a bib chain that is not sterilized between patients is placed around our neck, we may be unwittingly exposed to pseudomonas, E. coli and S. aureus – the most common cause of staph infections and a potential "superbug." 
Don't clip that crud on me

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines cross-contamination as the act of spreading bacteria and viruses from one surface to another. Since blood-borne viruses can live on objects and surfaces for up to a week, germs could be spread when surfaces are not disinfected the right way or if equipment is not cleaned and sterilized between patients.

Don't cross-contaminate me

Certainly, infection control has become much more serious and effective. Everything that goes into the patient's mouth is autoclaved or disposable. Countertops and surfaces that cannot be sterilized are disinfected. We know we cannot make the dental operatory a completely sterile environment, but we're certainly doing a better job of controlling it.

Study finds dental bib chain contamination
A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Dentistry Oral Microbiology Laboratory found that dental bib clips may be potential sources of cross-contamination in a dental office.
Bib Chain ContaminationUNC School of Dentistry Study Finds Dental Bib Chain Contamination

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