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Dentist of Death
Jan 6, 2010

Dr. Bob, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for asking the type of question that you get all the time, but having looked through the archives, I couldn't find anything like my situation. I beg your response

I just got back from the dentist. While getting my things ready, the hygenist put on her gloves & then threw something into the trash. I looked at the trash & the bib & gloves from the previous patient were in there. I asked (annoying her, I'm sure) if they had to use biohazard containers & she said they only had to for really saturated gauze, extracted teeth, etc. My concern is that when she threw the wrappings in the trash, she touched the previous patients bib/gloves that may have had HIV+ blood on it & then proceeded to touch my gums that bled during the cleaning. I know that there was blood on the gloves she used on me at the end of my cleaning, but I assume that was my blood. I've been sick to my stomach worrying about this. Is there any risk of contracting HIV this way (her possibly touching a previous patient's bib/gloves) & then touching my gums that were bleeding.

Thank you for everything you do, a generous donation will be made to your foundation.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Apology accepted. You're correct: I get similar queries on a near constant basis. Your HIV-acquisition risk, like that in the vast, vast, vast majority of similar questions, is essentially nonexistent. If HIV were that easy to catch, it would have wiped out the population of the planet long ago. Your fears are unwarranted. The hygienist should have put her gloves on after disposing of the trash; however, this minimal breach in protocol did not place you at any risk for HIV. If my reassurance is not enough for you to shake your unwarranted worries, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's very warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that you are and will remain HIV free. (I'm very confident you are!)

Be well. Stay well. Happy 2010.

Dr. Bob



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