Pima County Health officials: Patients of closed dental office need disease screening

2013-04-17T09:23:00Z 2013-04-17T11:43:09Z Pima County Health officials: Patients of closed dental office need disease screeningStephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Former patients of a now-closed Marana dental clinic could have been exposed to hepatitis or HIV, county health officials say.

The Pima County Health Department says it is in the process of contacting 174 dental patients who were seen at the T Dental Clinic, 3662 W. Ina Road in Marana from January to July of 2010 because they may have been exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.

The potential exposure is due to dental equipment that was not properly installed, health officials believe. Both state and county health officials are investigating.

No cases of transmission have been identified, but former patients are strongly urged to test for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

“At this time we are trying to help provide residents with sufficient information so they can take the appropriate steps to feel secure about their health. The only individuals at risk for infection are those who were seen at T Dental Clinic during a very specific period of time,” Pima County Health Department director Dr. Francisco Garcia said in a prepared statement.

“Although medical and dental offices are not regulated by the county health department, we believe it is important to to inform the public about this possible health risk.”

Patients of the T Dental Clinic who have questions or may need a referral on where to get tested are advised to speak with health department staff by calling 243-7808 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The T Dental Clinic is no longer in practice. It closed in July 2010, county officials say.

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