The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the rise of new variants require dental practices to be flexible and resilient in their response. National dental standard operating procedures have been regularly updated during the pandemic by the office of the Chief Dental Officer and NHS England. However practices are still required to customise these changes for day to day use in their own dental practice and infection control protocols. This presentation will examine and discuss how the protocols for dental surgery infection control and prevention have been revised and modified to manage the threat posed by Omicron and other respiratory pathogens, whilst maintaining patient access to dental care.
Topics covered will include:
the knowledge base on transmission of infections in dentistry including COVID-19;
how these infections can be managed using SCIPs and transmission precautions;
occupational health measures in dentistry and the importance of occupational vaccines against a background of new variants, long COVID and vaccine hesitancy;
current standard operating procedures for infection control and prevention; and
best practice regarding dental surgery ventilation (HTM 03-01).
On completion you should understand how and why changes in infection control in response to drivers like COVID-19 help protect patients and the dental team whilst optimising access to effective care.
Specialist in Oral Microbiology Dr Caroline Pankhurst is a dentist and Specialist in Oral Microbiology. She has published extensively in the fields of oral medicine, oral microbiology, and dental unit waterlines including two books on infection control (“Control of Infection Guidelines for General Dental Practice” & “Basic Guide to Prevention and Infection Control in Dentistry”).
She is actively involved in postgraduate dental education and was a finalist in the e- Learning Awards 2012. She served two terms on the SAC in Medical Microbiology, Royal College of Pathologists. Caroline was on the Editorial Boards of “Primary Dental Care” & BMC Oral Health, and was President of BDA Metropolitan Branch in 2006.
She is currently an elected member on the BDA Central Committee for Dental Academic Staff & Council BDA Metropolitan Branch; and a Trustee of the medical charity the Fungal Infection Trust.