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If You've Been To A Dentist In Sydney, You Need To Read This

This morning, terrifying news broke that it is possible that 11,000 patients from two Sydney dental clinics could have been exposed to HIV and Hepatitis, due to poor cleaning and equipment sterilisation.

According to a report on SMH, thousands of people who visited The Gentle Dentist practices at Campsie and Sussex Street in Sydney's CBD could be at risk of contracting HIV or Hepatitis - and are already being contacted by NSW Health.

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NSW Health will reportedly inform patients who have had an invasive procedure over the last 10 years about the potential small risk that they could have been infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

According to the same report on SMH, Fairfax Media understands at least five dentists have already been suspended from practising. Another three from The Gentle Dentist have had conditions placed on their registration.

Ownder of Gentle Dentist Dr Samson Chan, declined to comment when contacted by Fairfax Media, but the report on SMH reports that it is understood that Dr. Chan employs many young dentists, with little experience with infection control.

Dr Starkenburg told Fairfax Media he was "very sorry" about what had happened, but, at 75 years, his age had made it difficult for him to keep up with changing regulations.

"In the last eight years, they have upgraded the protocols a lot," he said. "I was a little lax on getting the latest protocols ... [but] I have [since then] taken a couple of courses and taken steps to rectify the problem."

According to the report, the Australian Dental Association NSW also declined to comment on Wednesday except to say that patients concerned that they may have been affected can call the helpline 1800 610 344 from 9am Thursday.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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