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29 Oct 2012 | Press Release

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New Hepatitis C Resource recognises vital role for dentists

Infection Control Hepatitis

The Australasian Society for HIV Medicine has updated a resource to support dentists who treat patients with hepatitis C. Dental and Orofacial Health and Hepatitis C has been written by dentists to provide an overview of the oral manifestations and complications associated with hepatitis C infection and treatments.


ASHM Clinical Director of Viral Hepatitis, Prof. Bob Batey said dentists have an important role to play in the management of hepatitis C.

"People living with hepatitis C are prone to tooth decay and often suffer a loss of self-esteem due to poor oral aesthetics. They can have difficulty with diet due to poor oral health and this leads to a compromised quality of life. Antiviral treatments used for hepatitis C can also lead to a range of orofacial and dental conditions," Prof. Batey said.

"The updated booklet, endorsed by the Australian Dental Association, provides an overview of the virus, its natural history, as well as transmission, testing and treatment, and provides a detailed and illustrated guide to common oral manifestations of hepatitis C including dry mouth, oral lichen planus and lymphoma," he said.

Key topics that are also in the booklet include:

  • Advice about prescribing medicines for dental patients who are living with hepatitis C-related liver disease;
  • The role dentists play in the preparation of patients undergoing liver transplants;
  • Legal issues pertaining to discrimination; and
  • Standard infection control procedures.

Dental and Orofacial Health and Hepatitis C is available free from ASHM's website - www.ashm.org.au/resources - and copies can be ordered from the same site.

ASHM is a peak body in the viral hepatitis sector and provides education, training and resources tailored to meet the needs of the viral hepatitis workforce. You can register for courses via the ASHM website at www.ashm.org.au/training

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