June 21, 2017 8:01 am

Burlington dental patients told to get tested for hepatitis and HIV

Upper Middle Dental, 1900 Walkers Line, Burlington, Ontario

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The Halton Regional Health Department says 9,000 past and current patients of a Burlington dental clinic should get tested for infectious diseases.

On June 9 the department identified that clients who received dental services at Upper Middle Dental operated by Dr. Vick Handa may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used for procedures.

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“Improperly cleaned dental instruments carry a low risk of transmitting infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to clients,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, acting Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “As a precaution, the Halton Region Health Department recommends that all clients who have ever received dental services at Upper Middle Dental contact their physician to discuss testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.”

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario suspended Dr. Handa’s license to practice on June 12. A re-inspection by Health Department staff on June 14 confirmed that the dental office at 1900 Walkers Line now meets the required infection prevention and control standards.

On June 16, Handa’s suspension was lifted by the RCDSO.

The Halton Region Health Department says they’ve sent letters to past and current clients of the dental office to notify them and recommend they contact their physician.

“Infection prevention and control in dentistry is a critical issue for safe patient care,” said a spokesperson for the RCDSO. “As a result, cases like this are extremely rare. Dentists are extensively trained on infection prevention and our mandatory continuous education program makes the subject a priority. The RCDSO is currently reviewing its Guidelines on Infection Prevention and Control in the Dental Office.”

For more information about hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, the inspection or investigation, visit halton.ca or call the Halton Region Health Department at 311, 905-825-6000 or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.

For inquiries related specifically to Upper Middle Dental, contact the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario by visiting rcdso.org.

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