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Online Poll Indicates 69% of People Think It's Very Important That Dental Bib Clips Be Bacteria-Free

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013

OXNARD, Calif./PRNewswire/ -- Recent news reports about un-safe practices at a number of U.S. dentist offices have raised concerns about dental infection control procedures and caused patients to question the safety of the dental offices they visit. A recent web poll, conducted at shows that 69% of people think it's very important that the dental bib holder and all dental equipment be bacteria-free.

"Since recent news broke about irresponsible dentists who don't follow proper dental safety procedures, a lot of patients have asked what things they should watch for when they are at the dentist to minimize their risk of infection," said Noel Brandon-Kelsch, a registered dental hygienist and the infection control columnist for RDH magazine. "The results of this poll show that patients know how important a clean dental environment is and they assume dental professionals will meet those expectations for complete hygiene."

Kelsch points out that one step patients can take to minimize the risk of infection is to request a one-time-use, disposable bib clip on patients. A recent study found that a significant proportion of dental bib clips, the metal or rubber clips that go around the patient's neck to hold the dental napkin in place, harbor bacteria from the patient, dental clinician and the environment even after the clips have undergone standard disinfection procedures. Four other research reports have also found bacterial contamination on dental bib holders.

The poll conducted on asked visitors to the site to answer questions about their expectations of cleanliness at the dental office and their willingness to ask for a disposable bib holder. The complete results of the poll were as follows:

  • 69% of respondents said they felt it was "very important" for the dental bib holder to be thoroughly disinfected and that they expect all the equipment used by the dentist or hygienist to be sterile and bacteria-free.

  • 31% said that is was "somewhat important" for the dental bib holder to be thoroughly disinfected and that they would prefer everything used during dental treatment to be sterile, but understood if it was not possible.

  • None of the respondents said that it was "not important" for the dental bib holder to be thoroughly disinfected.

  • 76% of respondents indicated they would ask their dentist or hygienist to use a disposable bib holder on them at their next dental appointment. 24% of the respondents said they would not ask for a disposable holder.

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