Hepatitis C- Dental Treatment

  • Hepatitits C HCV can be transmitted through a percutaneous injury (such as a needlestick or cut with a sharp object) or contact between mucous membranes or non-intact skin with blood, tissue, or other bodily fluids.
  • Although there is no vaccine for HCV, current treatment regimens can cure more than 90% of cases.
  • Current “interferon sparing” treatment regimens employing combinations of orally administered direct-acting antiviral agents (e.g., sofosbuvir, ledipasvir) are capable of curing HCV infection in up to 90% or more of cases, including patients who are treatment naïve, or those with cirrhosis or who are treatment experienced.
  • There is no effective vaccine or post-exposure prophylaxis available for HCV infection.  Prior infection with hepatitis C does not protect against later infection.
  • Hepatitis C virus poses a particular hazard to health care workers; 2.6% of all health care workers are exposed to HCV infection every year, translating into 16 000 new infections and 142 deaths annually worldwide.  Estimates suggest that hospital-based health care personnel sustain 385 000 needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries each year — an average of 1000 sharps-related injuries per day, 25% of which occur in the operating room.
Infection control:
  • Dentists and all staff with direct patient contact should comply with all standard precautions (e.g., wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and disinfecting all equipment and surfaces after each patient) for all patients.
  • Dental personnel should follow standard precautions, which include wearing barrier precautions (e.g., gloves, masks, and protective eyewear)
  • Follow safe injection practices and sharp safety
  • Disinfecting the dental care environment is also important since HCV can survive at room temperature on surfaces for more than 5 days.

     

  • The CDC recommends cleaning exposed surfaces with a 1:10 dilution of bleach to water.and Correctly following conventional sterilization techniques has been demonstrated to eliminate HCV RNA from dental instruments.
Exposure to HCV
  • After a needlestick exposure to HCV-positive blood, the risk of HCV infection is approximately 1.8%. HCV has been detected in saliva, but no undisputed case of HCV salivary transmission has been documented.