The Chain of Infection

There are simply too many different germs and diseases to count — and trying to cover each one specifically would be far too complex. When it comes down to it, infection works the same way across the board. It may spread in different circumstances, between different people, or through different methods, but the concept is still very much the same. Take a look at this image from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) below: 



As you can see, it’s actually quite simple — there should never be a question of how exactly an infection could have spread. It requires a pathogen, a source, a mode of transportation, and then a method of entry into a susceptible host. When working to prevent infection, it is imperative to understand what exactly these sorts of things entail, and how we can work to prevent them from happening in our place of work. Not only do you have to pay attention to the cleanliness of surfaces or “sources”, but you also have to pay attention to preventing the transmission — most likely by blocking or protecting the potential modes of entry..


In a dental practice, there are some specific things that you must look out for. Dental practices host several uniquely risky opportunities for the spread of infection — after all, the entire focus is on people’s mouths!