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Delaware Healthy Workplaces



Healthy Workplaces - Dental Offices

Hazards for Workers in Dental Offices and Labs

Dental professionals, ranging from dentists and dental hygienists to dental lab technicians, are at risk for a variety of occupational injuries and illnesses. As in any healthcare field, there is the potential for exposure to infected patients. The use of pharmaceuticals and hazardous substances also brings risk, as does the use of medical gases.

The first step is to educate yourself about the chemicals you work with and the environment you work in. Learn what you are being faced with and learn how to protect yourself.

  • CANCER AND CHEMICAL EXPOSURE:
    • Exposure to silica dust in dental labs can lead to silicosis and lung cancer.
    • Handling various mixtures of metals, solvents and adhesives.
    • Potential for exposure to anesthetic gases and other hazardous drugs.
  • RISK FOR INFECTION:
    • Working in the mouths of patients can increase the risk of disease transmission.
    • Handling needles and dental instruments can increase risk of sharps injury
  • ALLERGIC REACTIONS AND SKIN IRRITATION:
    • Use of latex products.
    • Handling chemicals and products that can cause contact dermatitis.

Preventing Exposure and Lowering Your Risk

  • EDUCATION:
    • Review the MSDS Sheets for the chemicals you work with.
    • Know the proper procedures for the equipment you use and Follow Them!
    • Use established infection control procedures to protect yourself and those around you.
  • AWARENESS:
    • Inspect your work area and equipment regularly.
    • Ensure that pharmaceuticals and hazardous substances are properly secured.
    • Report any problems with chemicals or equipment, such as spills or breakdowns, immediately.
  • PROTECTION:
    • Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for each activity.
    • Ensure your own health with regular physicals and up-to-date vaccinations.

Contact the Office of
Occupational Health


By E-Mail
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OH Website
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Online Form

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Delaware Helpline
1-800-464-HELP

Hyperlink to Healthy Workplaces - Employees- healthcare

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Healthy Workplaces- Employees - Dental Offices

Important
Links


American Dental
Association Dentist
Health and Wellness
Program

__________

American Dental
Hygienists Association

__________

OSHA Dental Page
__________

What Dental
Technicians Need
to Know About
Silicosis

__________

Guidelines for
Infection Control
in Dental Health
Care Settings


Chemicals in Dental Offices


Acetone
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Formaldehyde
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Lead
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Mercury
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Silica
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Toluene
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Volatile Organic Compounds


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