The effect of cleaning on blood contamination in the dental surgery following periodontal procedures

Aust Dent J. 1998 Oct;43(5):349-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.1998.tb00187.x.


Blood contamination of 16 surfaces in the dental surgery was investigated using the Kastle-Meyer test for haemoglobin, after three types of periodontal procedures had been performed on a total of 30 patients. The effect of cleaning surfaces contaminated by blood was investigated using the same test. Cleaning materials used in the dental surgery were tested to rule out the possibility of false positive outcomes and the sensitivity of the test was determined prior to the study. The results show a marked variation in the degree of contamination and efficacy of cleaning following treatment. Overall, root planing was associated with the most widespread and frequent blood contamination and gingival surgery the least. The surgery work surface, edge of the spittoon, aspirator tube and ultrasonic scaler handpiece into which the ultrasonic insert fits, were the most frequently contaminated surfaces. The work surface, dentist's pen, light switch and handle were cleaned most effectively. The least effectively cleaned surfaces were the water dispenser switch, aspirator tube, bracket table and ultrasonic scaler handpiece. Methods for reducing this potential source of cross-infection are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Dental Equipment*
  • Dental Instruments
  • Dental Scaling* / instrumentation
  • Disinfectants / therapeutic use
  • Disinfection*
  • Equipment Contamination / prevention & control*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Gingiva / surgery*
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Root Planing*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Soaps / therapeutic use
  • Suction / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / instrumentation


  • Disinfectants
  • Hemoglobins
  • Soaps