A modified retraction technique was introduced into the DDS degree preclinical anesthesia course in 2011 with the goal of reducing needlestick exposure incidents. In numerous studies of dental exposures, injuries from dental anesthetic needles account for the highest proportion of all exposures. The purpose of this study was to assess the preliminary impact of a modified retraction technique on the incidence of blood and body fluids (BBF) exposure incidents associated with needles during injection. Data from evaluations of students from 2014 and 2015 were obtained and tracked to determine whether the modified retraction technique was “excellent,” “clinically acceptable,” or “clinically unacceptable.” Data were collected to determine if the patient perceived the modified retraction technique as “comfortable” or “correctable when addressed” to help improve student technique for future injections. Likewise, data from the blood-borne exposure database where all information related to BBF exposures is recorded were reviewed and the information separated by year and class. This study presents preliminary data only and because of the small sample size does not lend itself to validation by statistical analysis. However, the technique effectively removes the operator's hand from the field during injection, reducing the risk of accidental intraoral needlestick to the nondominant hand of the operator.

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