Needlestick injuries in dentists and their assistants in Kerman, Iran: Prevalence, knowledge, and practice

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Kerman Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center, Department of Operative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Dentist, Private Practice, Kerman, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Needlestick (NS) injuries are one of the most important subjects in the dental field which can cause so many dangerous blood-borne diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, knowledge, and practice of dentists and their assistants about exposure to sharp contaminated instruments in Kerman, Iran, in 2012. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, self-administered questionnaires were distributed among 190 dentists and 250 assistants. Data were analyzed by chi-square and 2-sample tests. RESULTS: 32% of dentists and 30.7% of assistants had experienced NS injury. The mean scores of knowledge and practice in dentists were 4.88 ± 1.69 and 3.37 ± 0.70 from the maximum scores of 10 and 4. There was only a significant correlation between knowledge score and gender (P = 0.02), and a near significant correlation between practice and gender (P = 0.06) (male > female). However, they had no correlation with age, length of professional experience, and educational degree. In assistants, the mean score of practice was 2.84 ± 0.67 from the maximum score of 5. Furthermore, 96.6% of dentists and 76.3% of assistants had been vaccinated against hepatitis B. CONCLUSIONS: The obtained results show that the practice level of dentist in NS injury prevention and management is good but their knowledge and also their assistants’ practice is undesirable. The level of knowledge and practice was the same for general and specialist dentists. It seems that specialist dentists cooperate better in vaccination and measuring of anti-HBs antibody titre.