Foundations: Building the Safest Dental Visit
Find the most up-to-date information about infection prevention and control practices on CDC’s COVID-19 page, including CDC’s Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19), which is applicable to all U.S. settings where healthcare is delivered, including dental settings. For more information, see CDC Updates COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance.
A web-based, interactive, self-paced training designed to help increase adherence with established infection prevention and control guidelines among dental healthcare personnel.
This training provides an overview of the basic expectations for safe care—the principles of infection prevention and control that form the basis for CDC recommendations for dental healthcare settings. Learners who complete the training are eligible for 3 Continuing Education (CE) credits, provided by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Preventionexternal icon (OSAP).
- Use anywhere, anytime, on most computer, tablet, or other mobile devices
- Self-paced, so learners can complete at their own convenience
- Interactive audio and video material
- Reference page with additional resources
- Dental healthcare personnel
- Infection prevention coordinators
- Dental educators
- Dental consultants
- Dental, dental hygiene, and dental assisting students
- Members of the public that want to understand how dental offices keep patients safe
Overview of Foundations
- Module 1: Foundations of Infection Prevention and Control introduces infection prevention and control for dental settings, reviews existing guidelines, recommendations, and resources, and describes the fundamentals of evaluating dental infection prevention programs.
- Module 2: Protecting Patients, Protecting Yourself reviews hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, sharps safety, and safe injection practices.
- Module 3: Sterilization, Disinfection, and the Dental Environment reviews the sterilization process, environmental infection prevention and control guidelines, and dental unit water line safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Foundations is hosted on the CDC TRAIN learning platform. To access the course, you will need to register on CDC TRAIN. Alternately, you also can search for course ID 1092544 on CDC TRAINexternal icon.
If you are a returning CDC TRAIN user, select the link in the red banner that takes you to the sign-in page. Once you sign in, CDC TRAIN will redirect you to the training course.
If you are a new TRAIN user:
Select the “create an account” link in the red banner
Complete the sign-up process on the next page
Choose a group when CDC TRAIN prompts you to do so
Select the category that best describes your work role
Press the green button to confirm your selection
Select “Finish Creating Account”
Remember to complete your profile, accessible by selecting your user name from the top right corner of the TRAIN platform, which will allow you to access other courses on CDC TRAIN.
If you have a TRAIN account from another affiliate, like a state health department, you may need to add the CDC group to your profile for the training to appear. To do so, select your name at the top right, then “Your Profile,” and then the Manage Groups tab. Select the “Join Another Group” button, and search for CDC.
You can begin the Foundations training by selecting “Launch.” If you leave the site and sign in again, you can access the training from the “Your Learning” menu.
Foundations is a free resource. The course is available through CDC TRAIN, an affiliate of the Public Health Foundation’s TRAIN Learning Network. This learning network provides access to more than 1,000 courses developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs, grantees, and other funded partners.
All courses in CDC TRAIN are available at no cost to learners across the public health community including public health practitioners, healthcare professionals, first responders, educators, students, and others.
This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the American Dental Association (ADA) Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) through joint efforts between OSAP and CDC’s Division of Oral Health.
Learners who complete the Foundations training will receive a certificate of completion through CDC TRAIN. Specific instructions for obtaining CE credit are located on the Foundations course completion certificate. Learners do not need to be a member of OSAP to receive CE credit but may need to register on that organization’s website.
OSAP is a recognized CE provider through ADA CERP. ADA CERP is a service of the ADA to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. OSAP has designated this activity for 3 CE credits.
OSAP, a dental membership association, is a community of clinicians, educators, researchers, and industry representatives who advocate for safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare. Founded in 1984, OSAP is dedicated to education, research, service, and policy development to promote safety and the control of infectious diseases in dental healthcare settings worldwide. OSAP focuses on strategies to improve compliance with safe practices and on building a strong network of recognized infection control experts.
OSAP offers an extensive online collection of resources, publications, FAQs, checklists, and toolkits that help dental professionals deliver the safest dental visit possible for their patients and provides online and live courses to help advance the level of knowledge and skill of dental healthcare personnel.
Foundations is a self-paced training containing three modules of three to five lessons. It is designed to save learners’ progress, meaning that the course can be completed over several learning sessions. The entire course can typically be completed in three hours or less, if taken in one session.
Foundations is designed to be accessible on multiple devices, including most desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Following the recommended infection prevention procedures while providing dental treatment can prevent transmission of infectious organisms among patients and dental healthcare personnel.
CDC designed Foundations to provide dental healthcare personnel the information they need to make infection prevention and control a priority in any setting where dental healthcare is delivered. This includes traditional settings such as private dental practices, dental clinics, and dental schools, including educational programs for dental assisting, dental hygiene, and laboratories. It also includes nontraditional settings that may use portable dental equipment such as temporary school clinics and humanitarian dental missions.
Both Foundations: Building the Safest Visit and the Basic Expectations for Safe Care Training Modules are based on the Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Healthcare Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care, a user-friendly summary of key recommendations relevant to dental settings that reinforces the importance of Standard Precautions as the key to preventing transmission of infectious agents in clinical dental settings.
Foundations is designed for an individual learner who wishes to take a self-paced training and be able to show proof of completion to receive continuing education credit.
The Basic Expectations for Safe Care Training Modules were developed to provide instructional resources, including slide sets and speaker notes for use by infection prevention coordinators, educators, consultants, and other dental healthcare personnel in a classroom format. The materials are free for anyone to access and use. No registration is required. These training modules do not provide any continuing education credit.
If you have issues with functionality of the Foundations training, including issues with video and audio, images, or incorrect or non-working hyperlinks, contact the CDC Division of Oral Health at email@example.com and write “Foundations Training” in the subject line.
If you have issues with CE credits, please contact OSAP at firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Foundations Training” in the subject line.
If you have questions about infection prevention and control in dental settings, you can contact CDC-INFO, CDC’s national contact center and publication fulfillment system.
CDC-INFO offers live agents by phone and email to help you find the latest, reliable, and science-based health information on more than 750 health topics. CDC-INFO service is also accessible from the bottom of any CDC webpage under the “Have Questions?” section.
Website addresses of nonfederal organizations are provided solely as a service to readers. Provision of an address does not constitute an endorsement of this organization by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of other organizations’ web pages.