Infection control procedures in intraoral radiology: a survey of Michigan dental offices

Clin Prev Dent. Jun-Jul 1990;12(2):4-8.


A questionnaire was mailed to members of the Michigan Dental Association to determine the extent and adequacy of infection control procedures utilized during intraoral radiography. These measures were then compared with the infection control guidelines recommended by the American Dental Association for exposing and processing radiographs. During exposure procedures, it was found that an overwhelming majority of practitioners wore disposable gloves and placed saliva-contaminated film packets in a receptacle after removing them from the mouth. Very few clinicians complied with the ADA recommendations for wrapping surfaces in the X-ray operatory, but many used disinfectants to decontaminate surfaces touched by the operator. Most respondents washed or removed their gloves before leaving the operatory to process films, thereby stopping the spread of saliva. ADA recommendations for infection control during processing were generally not followed although alternate methods were frequently used. It is emphasized that infection control regimens be employed for all patients, and not only for those who are thought to be infectious. Auxiliaries should be educated in these protocols because they expose radiographs in many dental offices.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / methods*
  • Humans
  • Michigan
  • Radiography, Dental*