Compliance of Saudi dental students with infection control guidelines


Correspondence to:

Dr. Ibrahim Ali Ahmad,

Postal box 84891 Riyadh 11681,

Restorative Dentistry Department,

Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy,

Saudi Arabia.



The aim of this study was to investigate compliance of dental students in a Saudi dental school with recommended infection control protocols. A pilot-tested questionnaire concerning various aspects of infection control practices was distributed to 330 dental students. The response rate was 93.9% (n = 311). About 99% of students recorded the medical history of their patients and 80% were vaccinated against hepatitis B. The highest compliance (100%) with recommended guidelines was reported for wearing gloves and use of a new saliva ejector for each patient. Over 90% of the respondents changed gloves between patients, wore face masks, changed hand instruments, burs and handpieces between patients, used a rubber dam in restorative procedures and discarded sharp objects in special containers. A lower usage rate was reported for changing face masks between patients (81%), disinfecting impression materials (87%) and dental prosthesis (74%) and wearing gowns (57%). Eye glasses and face shield were used by less than one-third of the sample. The majority of students were found to be in compliance with most of the investigated infection control measures. Nevertheless, further education is needed to improve some infection control measures including vaccination for Hepatitis B virus (HBV), wearing eye glasses, gowns and face shields and disinfecting impression materials and dental prostheses.