12 November 2014

The British Dental Health Foundation has today issued the following comment in light of the case surrounding patients facing HIV and Hepatitis tests.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: "This is very much an isolated incident. The reality is the risk to patients is relatively low. It is important the public, and particularly those who believe they may be affected, to remain calm.

"For the virus to be transmitted through dental equipment, as is alleged here, it would have to be done almost straight away. The time between appointments means this is unlikely to happen.

"All dental practices in the UK have to operate the highest standards of cross infection control. Every dental practice is monitored and inspected regularly by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) against standards including those for cross infection control.

"In recent years the Department of Health has introduced new stringent regulations for cross infection control (HTM 01-05) which increases cross infection control standards and procedures above the already excellent standards already implemented. All dental surgeons are very aware of the issues around cross infection control in dental practice and generally operate to extremely high standards."

For free and impartial advice and guidance on general dental health questions and enquiries, please call our Dental Helpline, staffed by fully trained oral health experts and dental nurses, on 0845 063 1188. If you are a concerned patient of Dr D'Mello's case, the dedicated telephone number to call is 03330 142479.

Read more about the story:

 - The Mirror: Danger dentist: 22,000 patients warned as blood test fears spark biggest ever NHS recall

 - BBC: Some 22,000 virus risk dentist patients recalled by NHS

 - The Independent: 22,000 dental patients recalled over HIV and blood-borne virus fears amid concern over Nottingham dentist Desmond D'Mello