International journal of environmental research and public health 2017 01 1214(1) pii 10.3390/ijerph14010069
Background: To analyze dentists’ knowledge of blood-borne infections, their attitudes towards infected patients, and to determine the frequency of the contact with infectious material; Methods: We surveyed 192 dentists using an anonymous questionnaire. Results: Only a quarter of dentists responded correctly to all questions. 96% of the examined dentists confirmed that they were more cautious during treatment of patients with HBV, HCV and HIV. 25% of all respondents refuse to help infected patients due to concerns about their own health. The dentists occasionally removed protective clothing to make it "easier" to perform specific procedures. The dentists experienced contact with infectious material most frequently by splashes onto the conjunctiva or as a result of superficial injuries. The risk of injury by a medical tool increased with the years of employment. Re-capping needles was associated with an increased risk of injury; Conclusions: Despite the widespread tolerance of people infected with blood-borne viruses and the well-proven low infection risk to medical personnel, dentists continue to be prejudiced and concerned about their own health and may refuse to treat infected patients. It may be assumed that the proportion of refusing treatment is even greater. This attitude should imply the implementation of training in the field of pathogen transmission and the real risk of infection.