Cross contamination, also referred as cross infection which implies transfer of bacteria or other contaminants from one surface, substance or subject to another because of unsanitary or unhygienic handling procedures. It is a spread of microorganisms from one source to another. It can occur by direct contact with microorganisms from patient to patient or patient to dentist and vice versa. Also, contamination can occur by indirect contact with contaminated objects or from infected utilities to patients and dental health-care personnel. Some of the main infection sources are patient saliva, blood, and other fluids presenting themselves during dental treatments.
One of the greatest challenges for any dental clinic is to limit cross-contamination among dentists, hygienists, office workers, and patients. Preventing the spread of infection is a must, since the risk of cross-contamination begins when the first patient walks through the front door and continues throughout the day, impacting every surface from the pen in the waiting room to the dental chair in the operatory.
Below are some standard precautions of infection control, which can help you prevent cross-contamination: