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hiv from dental procedure
Jun 12, 2012

I have a concern about a dental office visit about two months ago. I went in for a general checkup and to get a cleaning there. The dentist scraped the plaque from my teeth and then left in a bit of a hurry. After this a dental hygienist came in and cleaned my teeth with a special toothbrush and paste. She then flossed my teeth. When I was finished I walked out of the room and saw my teeth in a large mirror besides the room. I commented that I still had plaque from the rushed dental procedure I had from the dentist. She was in the middle of picking up tools in a tray and then she said let me see and picked up a plaque removing tool (scalar) and touched my lower front right tooth. She said that everything seemed fine and that he had cleaned my teeth. Since my gums were bloody from the plaque removal earlier, my concern is that the plaque removing tool may have been swapped or something with that of another patient since the doctor was using it and she did not know what the deal was with it. Im afraid I couldve been exposed to blood borne pathogens including HIV and I think that dental hygienists should not try to scape plaque off since that should be reserved for the dentist. I may be a little paranoid and I do have a history of OCD but Ive been feeling really sick Im not sure if its due to anxiety or depression or what. Should I get a blood test to test for HIV for this incidence? I told my parents about it and they think Im nuts

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi There is not a risk of HIV transmission occurring this way. If the same instrument was used there would have had to be a large amount of blood on it and of course the person prior to you would have had to have HIV. If there were to be HIV on it, it does die once it is outside of the body. You are not at risk.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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