Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is sending letters today to anyone who was a patient of Guelph Dental Associates (Growing Smiles) and had a dental procedure done between January 21, 2015 and June 21, 2017. They will be advised to talk to their doctor about getting tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV due to concerns that the sterilization of dental instruments was not being done properly.
Although the risk of infection is categorized as “low” by infectious disease experts, patients are being encouraged to get tested.
“After we received a complaint from a member of the public, Public Health immediately inspected the clinic the following day and closed the office. It will be reopened when all equipment is safely sterilized according to the standards of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “Public safety is our first priority so anyone who received a letter should speak with their doctor about getting tested.”
Patients can call 1-800-265-7293 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to speak with a public health nurse.
Public health units are responsible for following up on any complaints about how equipment is used in a doctor’s or dentist’s office or any other regulated health professional such as chiropractors or massage therapists.
Public Health will continue to work closely with health and dental care providers to ensure their infection control practices pose no risk to their patients.