From the Publisher: Truth Scarier than Fiction

As a former dental manufacturer field sales rep, I can tell you from firsthand experience that infection control is not at the top of the list for many dental practices. When I was in the field, I called mostly on solo practitioners (So my DSO and GPO readers can now relax a bit). Some were in rural areas, some suburban and also many in urban settings. Many followed CDC guidelines, but many more did not. I bring this up, because our cover story is all about infection control. This is a must-read story with input from Hugh Norsted (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care), Heidi Arndt, RDH, BSDH, (president of Enhanced Hygiene), and infection control guru Nancy Andrews.

Infection control is a very serious matter and the media has highlighted this with the now infamous case that involved an Oklahoma oral surgeon. Although infection control should, and is taken seriously by most practitioners and most group practices, there are also many “horror stories.” In our cover story there are some examples of these infection control breaches. This topic is also highlighted on our website, It is well worth reading the dental office horror stories as written by the salespeople who called on these offices. The stories are almost unbelievable, except that I witnessed and wrote several of the “horror stories” myself.

One time a dental assistant came out to greet me and I did not see her gloves. I went to shake her hand and I pulled back when I saw she had her gloves on. She apologized that she couldn’t shake my hand, and told me she didn’t have any time to talk to me because she had a patient in the chair. She was simply coming out to get some magazines and newspapers for the patient, or maybe for the dentist to read. Yep, you can bet she picked up those magazines with the same gloved hands that were and will be again in the patient’s mouth. Oh yeah, she also had time to pick up the phone to make a call.

Not glove related, but equally as disturbing. I ventured into a dental office in a small town to be greeted by the dentist. He invited me back into an operatory, where he proceeded to light a cigarette. Oh, yes there was a patient in the chair! So I start to tell him about my products as the ashes hang off of his cigarette and drop onto his pant leg. Fortunately, he didn’t set himself or his patient on fire. I did get the sale!

Yes, we are making light of this serious subject, but sometimes truth is stranger (and more dangerous) than fiction. For more horror stories follow this link – .

Happy sterilizing,

Bill Neumann

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