None (10.07.11) - Friday, October 07, 2011
On Sept. 13, CDC Prevention News Update published excerpts
from an opinion piece, "Thinking of Getting Inked? Get Risks
First," which appeared in the Desert Sun newspaper on Sept. 8.
The commentary included the following statement: "According to
[CDC], you are more likely to get hepatitis C from your
dentist than a proper tattoo artist." In response, the CDC
Division of Oral Health has issued the following
clarification: "Dentistry is a trusted profession in America.
There have been no reports of patients being infected with
hepatitis C virus (HCV) during dental care - confirming that
the risk is extremely low. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) has published guidelines for standard
practices to prevent infections in dental offices (1). These
practices include hand washing; use of gloves, masks, and
protective eyewear; instrument sterilization; and cleaning and
decontamination of surfaces in the dental examining room.
Consistent use of these standard practices protects patients
and dental professionals. More information about the risks of
hepatitis C infection is available at the CDC website
1. CDC. Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care
Settings, 2003. MMWR, December 19, 2003:52(RR-17).