Dr. James Hanley, associate dean for clinical affairs, responds to the concern over the Oklahoma dentist who allegedly infected thousands
(CNN) — It is disheartening and alarming to learn that as many as 7,000 patients are at risk of serious, life-threatening infections because of dentist W. Scott Harrington’s alleged failure to follow “standard infection control guidelines” at his practice in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, suburb.
Around the country, people are asking: Are U.S. oral health services safe?
The short answer is: Yes. But, patients should always check to make sure that their dental provider adheres to the strictest safety guidelines.
The allegations leveled against Harrington are deeply troubling, and it is terrible that his many patients must now worry they might have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV because of his alleged failure to implement even the most basic infection control guidelines. As the leader of his oral health care team, it was his responsibility to ensure the safety of the patients who trusted him with their care.