On Friday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health sent letters to anyone who was a patient of Guelph Dental Associates and had a dental procedure done between January 21, 2015 and June 21, 2017.
Those patients are being advised to see a doctor about getting tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
Public health has concerns that the sterilization of dental instruments at Guelph Dental Associates was not being done properly over that time period. The dental office at 380 Eramosa Road in the Bullfrog Mall has been temporarily closed.
The risk of infection has been categorized as “low” by infectious disease experts, but patients are nevertheless encouraged to be tested.
“After we received a complaint from a member of the public, Public Health immediately inspected the clinic the following day and closed the office,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and in a statement on the public health website. “It will be reopened when all equipment is safely sterilized according to the standards of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.”
Public health is extending call centre hours over the long weekend to address concerns from patients of Guelph Dental Associates.
Patients can call 1-800-265-7293 to speak with a public health nurse on Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The call centre will be operating from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, July 4.
The clinic sent a letter to patients stating the office is temporarily closed, and that it is “constantly investing in our practice to ensure that our facilities and equipment are of the highest quality.”
The letter stated that public health visited the clinic and “identified areas where we could improve our practice and protocols.” The closure will allow “enough time to implement the recommended improvements.”