Contamination of absorbent paper points in clinical practice: a critical approach.

General dentistry

PubMedID: 24983184

Andrade LP, Oliveira Conde NC, Sponchiado Junior EC, Franco Marques AA, Pereira JV, Garcia LF. Contamination of absorbent paper points in clinical practice: a critical approach. Gen Dent. 2014;62(4):e38-40.
This study sought to evaluate the contamination level of absorbent paper points used routinely in dental clinical practice. For this study, 60 absorbent paper points were collected and separated into 3 groups: 20 paper points from sealed commercial packages (Group 1), 20 paper points from open commercial packages in use for 30 days (Group 2), and 20 paper points from a sealed commercial package that were manipulated by the operator (Group 3). Evaluation criteria was the presence or absence of turbidity in the brain heart infusion (BHI) broth used as the culture medium. The results (Kruskal-Wallis test; significance level = 5%) demonstrated bacterial growth in most of the samples for all groups, with a statistically significant difference in Group 3 compared to Groups 1 and 2. It was concluded that inadequate manipulation of paper points by the operator caused these materials to become contaminated; in addition, the bacterial growth in absorbent paper points that are still in their commercial packages indicates the importance of sterilization before the paper points are used in clinical practice.