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To assess the compliance of a group of Nigerian dentists with standard infection control practices.
A confidential self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among dentists engaged in active clinical practices in public hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria (n = 185).
One hundred forty-six questionnaires were returned (response rate, 78.9%). Most (70.6%) of the dentists always wore gloves when treating patients, whereas 29.4% sometimes did. Regarding facemasks, 45.9% always wore them, 52.7% sometimes wore them, and 1.4% never wore them. Protective eye wear was always worn by 4.8% of the dentists, sometimes worn by 52.7%, and never worn by 42.5%. Approximately half (50.7%) of the respondents had received hepatitis B vaccination. Sterilization was performed using a combination of methods, including auto-claving (84.1%), boiling (19.3%), dry heat (17.5%), and chemicals (29.7%). Nonavailability of materials was the major reason for noncompliance with infection control practices.
Nigerian dentists need continuous education regarding infection control. Also, Nigerian hospitals urgently need adequate funding for up-to-date and functional equipment and materials.
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