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Updated: 17th September 2019 18:12 Calgary

Health advisories issued for 2 Calgary dental practices; possible hepatitis exposure

Patients at two Calgary dental clinics may have been exposed to hepatitis B and C due to improper sterilization of equipment. Alberta Health Services has issued health advisories for both the home-based Canavina Dental Hygiene Clinic and the Radisson Dental Centre.

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Inadequate sterilization at Radisson Dental Centre and home-based Canavina Dental Hygiene Clinic

Health officials say patients of two Calgary dental practices may have been exposed to hepatitis B and C because equipment wasn't properly sterilized. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Patients at two Calgary dental clinics may have been exposed to hepatitis B and C due to improper sterilization of equipment.

Alberta Health Services has issued health advisories for both the Radisson Dental Centre and home-based Canavina Dental Hygiene Clinic.

"Neither of these clinics were not doing cleaning and sterilization. They just weren't up to standard, and we have a very high standard," said Dr. Jia Hu, Calgary's medical officer of health. "So it's a combination of these factors, a combination of what the clinics were doing and with that we're able to attempt to quantify the risk [as] very low."

Hu says there was a routine health inspection at one facility, and because they shared staff, both were investigated.

"We'll go in, we'll do a full inspection. We'll make sure that there is no ongoing risk to the public, and that's essentially what happened here," Hu said. "I do want to emphasize that with both these breaches the risk to the public is extremely low. And the main reason we are doing a health advisory is for transparency and out of abundance of caution."

AHS says the Canavina Dental Hygiene Clinic has closed, and the Radisson Dental Centre, in business for 10 years, has corrected its sterilization methods.

Alberta Health Services says it has not confirmed any cases of illness associated with inadequate sterilization at the two practices.

The exposure may have occurred at Canavina Dental Hygiene Clinic between Aug. 1, 2009, to Feb. 15 of this year, and at the Radisson Dental Centre between April 28, 2012, and last May 13.

The health agency says people who were patients at these practices should see their doctors for testing, though the risk of having contracted hepatitis remains low.

With files from Elizabeth Snaddon, The Canadian Press

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