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Article: Volume 49 Number 1 Page 26 - January 2022

  Dental Update 496: 26-30  Read article

General Dentistry:  Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Liver Disease: A Review for the Dental Practitioner

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Abstract: The prevalence of chronic liver disease continues to rise, and important causes include viral infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Both of these viruses can be contracted by healthcare workers through an inoculation injury and can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. In addition, chronic liver disease can result in disorders of liver function, including coagulopathy and abnormal metabolism of drugs widely used in dentistry. This article reviews current prevalence, transmission rates and treatment of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as particular considerations for dental patients with liver disease.

Clinical relevance: Viral hepatitis remains a risk to all healthcare workers, and patients with liver disease provide various challenges when providing dental treatment.

Author notes: Iain Macpherson, MBChB, MRCP(UK), Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee. Paul N Brennan, MBChB MRCP(UK), Clinical Research Fellow, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh. John F Dillon, MD, MRCP(UK), Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Division of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee. email: j.f.dillon@dundee.ac.uk

Objective: To describe the current prevalence of hepatitis B and C and necessary precautions required when treating those with liver disease.

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