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Infection control procedures can only be implemented safely and realistically with the full compliance of everyone in the dental practice. Every dental practice is required to have a documented infection control policy which should be routinely discussed and updated. It is the responsibility of the individual practitioner to ensure that all dental staff understand and practice the procedures.

The policies should clearly outline every aspect of infection control and this should be readily available to all members of staff, to allow them to refer to it, ensuring that they are competent and confident in its implementation.

Implementing safe and realistic infection control procedures requires the full compliance of the whole dental team. These procedures should be regularly monitored during clinical sessions and discussed at practice meetings. The individual practitioner must ensure that all members of the dental team understand and practice these procedures routinely.

It may be appropriate to display an infection control statement in your practice to help reassure patients and gain their confidence. It is important to take time to answer their questions. Ensure every member of your practice staff can answer patient queries competently or know who to refer the patient to when necessary.

Having a readily available policy which describes practice procedures is very useful, as it allows any member of staff to refer to it. It is also sensible to ask each staff member to sign a declaration confirming that they have received a copy, that training has been provided and that they have read and understood the practice infection control policy.

All dentists have a duty of care to their patients and staff to ensure adequate infection control procedures are followed. It is important that all staff understand the principles of personal protection and that compliance is part of their contracts of employment.

Failure to employ adequate methods of cross-infection control would almost certainly render a dentist liable to a charge of serious professional misconduct