Safety at the Dental Office Just Got a Lot More Complicated

Mad Cow Concerns over Root Canal Tools

Dentists in the UK and across the globe were shaken recently when Britain’s Minister of Health announced its official recommendation that root canal tools not be reused. The concern is vCJD – also known as “mad cow disease” – which is transmitted via prions in the brain. Though a case has never been documented, endodontic work could leave patients vulnerable to infection with the deadly disease. Contaminated tools can never be cleaned, as prions are resistant to heat and disinfectants. In response to the new recommendations, at least one dental supplier has significantly lowered the prices of its single-use endodontic tools.

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