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Decontamination in Dentistry


Dental patients expect to be treated in a safe and clean environment. It is essential that the risk of person-to-person transmission of infections is minimised as much as possible and in a practical manner.

The Health Safety and Welfare at Work Act (2005) is relevant to the decontamination process as it places an emphasis on the safety of workers and the duties of employers and workers in that regard. Staff must not be requested to carry out any potentially dangerous tasks without reasonable precautions being taken and safeguards being in place.

This document aims to provide the dental practitioner and the dental team with guidance on implementing an acceptable standard of decontamination consistent with the Dental Council Code of Practice Relating to Infection Prevention and Control (2015). Adherence to the Code should ensure that all practices achieve an acceptable standard in decontamination procedures and should be in a position to pass any inspection carried out by outside agencies.

This document will assist the dental practitioner in achieving this essential standard and also demonstrate how to improve in an incremental step-by-step way in order to achieve the highest standards of decontamination in dental practice. Clinical audit provides a toolkit through which performance can be assessed and improved.

Go to Step-by-Step Strategy


Audit Tools:

Single Room Surgery 

Separate Decontamination Room 

Surgery Designs:

Single Room Surgery 

Separate Decontamination Room