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IS THERE RISK FOR INFECTION AT THE DENTIST IF DENTIST REUSED HIS SURGICAL MASK
Nov 7, 2012

I recently went to the dentist to have a regular cleaning procedure done. Almost to the end of the procedure, I realized some brownish stains on the dentist's surgical mask. It looked like dried blood or could be makeup, I could not determine for sure. The fact that whatever it was did not appear wet on the mask i assumed it was not from me and probably he reused his mask from the previous patient. Since it was during the procedure I recognized this, the doctor already touched the mask with his gloved hand and touched the inner parts of my mouth while maneuvering his instruments to get a better view and angle for cleaning. Since it was during the middle of cleaning my gums were already bleeding.

Assuming the worse case scenario, that the stain was blood and the blood is HIV infected could I get infected if the doctor touched that area of the mask with his hands and then placed his hands in my mouth? The time lapse between the patient prior to me leaving the chair and me starting my procedure was roughly 10-15 minutes.

Response from Dr. Wohl

There is no risk here. This is not a way HIV can be transmitted.

DW



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