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The Dental Field: Moving On

By Matthew Baker

Federal and Florida researchers were able to provide an HIV positive dentist with a new lease on life after their studies completely refuted earlier claims of him being guilty of transmitting the virus to patients. There are so many differences that set this case apart from a similar case that happened earlier involving another HIV positive dentist who indeed caused his patients to contract the virus.

The dentist may be infected with a different strain of HIV and the health department and federal centers determined the strain through DNA sequencing. No similarities emerged from the DNA in the HIV strains contracted by the patient and by some of his patients.

Further research provided information regarding the impossibility of patients to contract the virus from one another and results also showed how the dental implements could not have caused the problem. The new findings can help put a stop to people’s misconceptions. This proves that the risk of contracting infections from dentists is very low and because of this mandatory health checks are not needed.

Physicians were obligated to take mandatory health assessment tests after one of the six infected patients of the first dentist waged a crusade for such a ruling. Populations of indigents were affected by the AIDS epidemic but this did not prevent the second dentist from extending medical assistance. After a while the dentist was infected with HIV and he died a few years after.

24 out of the 19% of patients he treated during his last five years of service tested positive for the HIV virus after getting tested. In other ways four other patients found out of their HIV infections. People who have HIV usually develop behavioral risks and the study of the 28 patients delivered the results informing that 24 out of the 28 are susceptible. Even with DNA sequencing nothing has been found to support the claim that the strain of HIV from the dentist is the same strain that affected his patients.

Without evidence showing similarities in the strains of HIV there is no way that the dentist could have transmitted the virus he was infected with. All strains from those who were infected came out different pertaining to the fact that every person got the virus from a source only he was exposed to. Dental implements though were still not free from ridicule as they could have been contaminated with blood or tissue.

Coming from those who know AIDS well the new research may help suppress the fears people developed for dental services stemming from a patient’s death. For those involved with the HIV sequence database and analysis project they are confident that the efforts of the center for disease control will bring nothing but good news. His quasi governmental organization tracks different strains of HIV.He says that on the other hand, it doesn’t mean that by the turn of the century, when the number of cases has doubled, that we won’t see another case like this case. For the American dental profession which handles more than 400 million patient visits each year and has conducted a safe practices campaign of late, the study comes as good news.

Much development can be witnessed in the dental industry today with stricter infection control procedures and this case finally being resolved. On the other hand one of the lawyers for the AIDS victim advised against disregarding the need for mandatory health checks as patients still had the right to know about the possible risks carried by their physicians. Case in point a number of patients got infected by HIV and whether the dentist acted negligently or not it is the responsibility of public health services to provide patients with adequate protection.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Baker, Matthew "The Dental Field: Moving On." The Dental Field: Moving On. 4 Jul. 2010. 14 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Baker, M (2010, July 4). The Dental Field: Moving On. Retrieved September 14, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Baker, Matthew "The Dental Field: Moving On"

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