Should Dental Offices Worry About MRSA?

Should dental office staff be concerned about MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus)? YES! This dangerous organism can be carried on the skin and in the nose of staff, patients and visitors who are asymptomatic carriers (they have the germs but may not appear to be sick or have any skin sores). It’s most easily transmitted via surfaces or hands that are contaminated with MRSA to a susceptible person with skin cuts or scrapes, so always cover cuts and scrapes with bandages.   MRSA can also be easily transmitted in gyms and day care centers, which is why it’s important to wash hands frequently while also keeping skin of hands in good condition.

Another thing to keep in mind is that patients, especially children, often wear shorts in the summer and they may have cuts or scrapes on their legs. The lower part of the dental chair is rarely covered with barriers.  Clean and disinfect dental unit chair surfaces with a compatible water based disinfectant like ProSpray liquids or wipes  that will kill MRSA but will not harm chair vinyl.