EVALUATION OF CROSS INFECTION CONTROL AWARENESS AND PRACTICES IN DENTAL LABORATORIES
Cross infection is the physical transfer of harmful microorganisms from one person, object, or place to another. This is due to contamination in dental clinics, laboratories, improper protocol and the dental technicians are highly affected. The purpose of this study was to assess knowledge and infection control practices among dental technicians. This cross sectional study was carried out among dental technicians working in government and private dental laboratories of Karachi from July 2018 to December 2018. A questionnaire comprising of 15 questions regarding cross infection control was used to collect data. Out of 80 dental technicians, 62 responded, among them 12 were females and 50 were males. Only 8.1% of the technicians regularly wore gloves, while 22.6% wore protective eyeglasses and 3.2% used face shield regularly. 50% technicians wore lab coat while working. Items received from the dental clinics were regularly disinfected by 38.7% of technicians, only 32.3% regularly disinfected their work before sending back to the clinics and 19.4% of technicians regularly sterilized laboratory instruments. Pumice slurry and curing water were regularly changed by 30.6%. More than 50% of technicians stated that proper infection control measures increased the monetary burden on dental labs. The results of this study show that infection control protocols were not adequately practiced by dental technicians working in various dental laboratories of Karachi. Therefore, awareness should be created among dental technicians about cross infection control and dental laboratories should be monitored properly for observing cross infection control standards.