Only a tiny percentage of veterinary practices would meet the most basic hygiene standards required of dental practices for people, according to the initial results of a soon-to-be published study conducted by European & RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry, Bob Partridge MRCVS from VetDentist.info.

Bacteria isolated from human dental units analysed in other studies included Pseudomonas Sp, Mycobacteria and Legionella.

Bob said: "The Care Quality Commission (CQC) would have no hesitation in shutting down practices with the level of contamination we have seen. The dangers are real and significant for our teams as well as for our patients.

"Part of the problem is that dental units produce aerosols which can carry the bacteria into the depths of the lungs, bypassing normal defence mechanisms. Endotoxin levels have also been shown to be very high in untreated units, potentially resulting in problems when surgical extractions are performed.

Bob added: "The good news is that the biofilms which harbour the bacteria are treatable - but simply adding a little chlorhexidine will not do the trick."

Working with industry leaders, www.VetDentist.info has produced a Starter Kit for veterinary practices, which Bob says will clear biofilms and also provides a safe maintenance solution for ongoing use. 

Bob says the cost of keeping your dental unit’s water lines safe for staff and patients is around 25-40p per day. Practices can also sign up for a regular monitoring scheme.

For more information and to get a VetDentist Starter Kit, visit www.VetDentist.info.


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