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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 27-34

Occupational Exposures Occuring among Dental Students in two Dental Teaching Institutions of Davangere City, India

Department of Comnumity Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Karnataka - 577 004, India

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Background: Health care workers (HCW) are at risk for development of infections due to accidental exposures. In Dentistry sharps injuries are likely to occur due to a small operating field, frequent patient movement, and the variety of sharp instruments used in every day practice. Objective: To determine the rate of occupational exposures experienced by the Dental students in two dental teaching institutions and the percentage of these occupational exposures, which were reported by the students to their designated instructors. Methodology: In this cross sectional descriptive study, a total number of 531 students participated, and anonymously filled out a questionnaire on the number of occupational exposures they had experienced and reported. The response rate was 97.3%. Results: There was no significant difference between sex, dominant hand, use of protective glasses and time of the day. Slightly more exposures occurred in the afternoon in right handed post graduate students. The exposures were more when students were working alone, which had occurred out side the patient mouth and majority of them were percutaneous in nature and 65-85% of the students had not reported regarding their occupational exposure to their designated instructors. The result of this study helps to identify the nature and type of occupational exposure experienced by the students and various procedures during which they encountered. Conclusion: To reduce the incidence of these occupational exposures, more instruction and training may be required in the earlier clinical years and more chair side assistance. Under reporting of incidents is common and ways to encourage and facilitate reporting should be sought.

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