Educators Focus on Infection Control Issues at Final CDA Teaching Conference

June 17, 2010

The 49th annual CDA Teaching Conference and workshop took place in Winnipeg on April 28 and 29. The event titled, Infection Control: Exploring Gaps, Current Trends and Best Practices for Dental Education, was organized by CDA in conjunction with the Association of Canadian Dental Faculties.

Dr. Nita Mazurat, associate professor of restorative dentistry at the University of Manitoba, was instrumental in coordinating this final CDA teaching conference, which brought together infection prevention and control (IPC) educators from the 10 Canadian faculties of dentistry. Each faculty representative presented a summary of its school's IPC didactic and clinical curriculum, which revealed both common challenges and unique strategies to address IPC-related issues.

Some recurrent IPC policy topics included how to effectively teach professionalism in the context of IPC within a learning facility and how to improve IPC compliance among students and clinical staff.

Participants shared successful teaching strategies including the use of clinical cases for teaching IPC, ways to time the didactic component to the clinical component as an effective teaching tool for IPC curriculum, and effective breach recognition and management within the dental school setting.

Clinical topics that sparked debate included interpretation of recent guidelines for prophylactic antibiotic use for cardiac and total joint replacement patients, single-use versus reuse of burs and endodontic files, advanced biologic monitoring for sterilization and whether to add surgical caps to the list for personal protective equipment for general dentistry.

However among all the workshop participants, there was consensus regarding the need for a sustained national voice to advocate for IPC best practices in Canada.