A survey of infection control teaching in U.S. dental schools

Nuala B. Porteous, Eamon Bizra, Annaliese Cothron, Chih Ko Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to determine the content of infection control (IC) curricula, the extent of IC monitoring and compliance, and the number of bloodborne pathogen (BBP) exposures/year in U.S. dental schools. A questionnaire was emailed to persons responsible for predoctoral IC programs. The response rate was 60 percent. Most schools did not have an independent course and used classroom lectures and clinic demonstrations to teach IC. Schools with an IC committee were more likely to use online learning (p<0.05), utilize multiple teaching methods (p<0.05), issue written warnings for IC violations (p<0.0001), and use multiple disciplinary actions (p<0.005) than schools without an IC committee. Schools with an IC coordinator were less likely to issue grade reductions for IC violations than schools with no IC coordinator (p<0.05). Thirty-eight percent reported ≥16 BBP exposures/ year, and 18 percent reported <5. There was significant correlation between BBP exposure incidents and large class size (p<0.005). Respondents were satisfied with their IC curriculum and perceived that dental students had a high level of IC compliance and satisfaction, along with staff IC promotion and compliance. The findings suggest that schools without an IC committee should consider its benefits. Further investigation of schools with high numbers of BBP exposures is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Bloodborne pathogen
  • Clinic management
  • Clinical education
  • Dental education
  • Dental schools
  • Infection control
  • Infection control compliance in dental schools
  • Infection control teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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