Evaluation of Infection Control Measures of Iraqi Dentists in Dental Practices
Keywords:Infection control measures, knowledge, attitude, Iraqi dentists.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of Iraqi
dentists in Al-Najaf City regarding infection control measures.
Materials and Method: A questionnaire was designed to obtain information about procedures used for
the prevention of cross infection in dental practices. The study population included all dentists in Al-Najaf
City, Iraq, in September 2019 (n=500) to whom the questionnaires were distributed. The questionnaire
was designed to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge and practice of infection
control procedures, cleaning, disinfection, sterilization, hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment,
immunization, prevention and handling of occupational hazards, and antisepsis.
Results: From the 500 dentists to whom the questionnaires were submitted, 372 participated in the study
(overall response rate 74.4%). Half of the dentists (50%) expressed concern about risks of infection
transmitted in dental practices. The rate of vaccination against hepatitis B was good among dentists (76%).
Iraqi practitioners widely apply certain basic infection control measures, such as hand washing (85%) and
wearing gloves (90%) and face masks (84%), but poorly address other important issues, such as examining
medical history records (65%), wearing protective eye wear (41%) and disposable gowns for surgery (30%),
and using rubber dam (18%), preoperative mouth rinses (25%) and puncture-resistant containers (34%).
Conclusions: The knowledge, attitude, and behavior of Iraqi dentists about infection control measures are
relatively weak. Improved compliance with recommended infection control measures is required for all
dentists. Continuing education programs and short courses/workshops about cross infection and infection
control measures are important to improve the knowledge, awareness, attitude, and behavior of Iraqi dentists.