Blood and Saliva Contamination on Protective Eyewear During Dental Treatment
Objectives: Dental treatments are associated with the appearance of potentially infective aerosols, saliva and blood splashes. Protective eyewear is therefore an important part of personal protective equipment in the dental practice. The aim of the present study was to investigate the quantitative blood and saliva contamination of protective eyewear during different dental treatments using forensic techniques. Furthermore, the efficacy of disinfection was analysed.
Methods: N=53 standardized protective eyewear shields worn during different dental treatments were analysed. Detection of blood contamination was performed by application of luminol solution onto the surface of safety shields, resulting in chemiluminescence. To visualize saliva contamination, a special forensic testpaper was used. After standardized disinfection of the protective eyewear, further analysis was conducted using the same techniques. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS.
Results: Onto 60.4% of protective eyewear surfaces, macroscopically detectable contamination was found after dental treatment. Blood contamination (median 330.00 pixel) was observed on all shields after dental treatment using luminol as detection agent. After professional tooth cleaning highest amount of blood contamination was detected (median 1,087.00 pixel). Overall the statistical differences between different dental treatments tend to be significant (p=0.054). Significant differences of saliva contamination was observed between the different measurements (p<0.001). In general, the amount of saliva contamination was low. After disinfection, no saliva contamination was detected, but a small amount of blood contamination (0.02%) could still be found.
Conclusions: After dental treatment protective eyewear shows a contamination with saliva and blood. Seemingly macroscopically clean protective eyewear contains up to 12% surface contamination with blood. Disinfection seems to be effective against saliva and blood contamination. As standard for infection prevention in the dental practice the use of protective eyewear during each treatment and disinfection of protective eyewear after each patient is necessary.