Foundations: A Safer Dental Visit

CDC training can increase adherence to dental infection prevention guidelines

Foundations: Building the Safest Dental Visit

September marks Dental Infection Control Awareness Month (DICAM), an annual campaign highlighting the importance of infection prevention and control in dental offices. CDC is proud to release a free online training called Foundations: Building the Safest Dental Visit to help raise awareness of the importance of infection prevention and control in all dental settings.

Infection prevention practices must be a priority wherever dental health care is provided. Traditional settings include private dental practices, dental clinics, dental schools, laboratories, and educational programs for dental assisting and dental hygiene. Nontraditional settings include temporary school clinics and humanitarian dental missions that may use portable dental equipment.

CDC publishes infection prevention and control recommendations for dental health care settings, as well as tools and resources designed to increase adherence to these recommendations. Foundations is a new free, web-based, self-paced training resource that provides an overview of the basic expectations for safe care.

The course will be available through CDC TRAINexternal icon, an affiliate of the Public Health Foundation’s TRAIN Learning Network. This learning network provides access to more than 1,000 courses developed by CDC programs, grantees, and other funded partners.

Training is for all types of dental health care personnel  

The Foundations training is designed to educate dental health care personnel, infection prevention coordinators, educators, consultants, and others who want to understand the science and methods of infection prevention and control in dental health care settings.

Smiling woman in dental chair

The training covers three content areas:

  • 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 Setting reviews the sterilization process, environmental infection prevention and control guidelines, and dental unit water line safety.

Foundations includes reference materials and other resources to help users explore topics in detail. The training also presents in-depth audio case studies and videos to help the learner apply the topics to real-life settings.

Dental continuing education credits are available

CDC is partnering with the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Preventionexternal icon (OSAP) to increase the reach and usefulness of this training. OSAP is a nonprofit, independent organization that provides information and education on infection prevention and control and patient and provider safety to dental care settings worldwide. As a recognized continuing education credit provider through the American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition Program, OSAP will provide free dental continuing education credit hours for learners who complete the Foundations training.