[Question #1723] Dentist (drill cleaning needle turbine access to blood stream from teeth )

45 months ago
Dear dr hunter thank you for helping in any possible way ! 


I just need to take one more info and then I can move with confidence 

I have braces on , just want to ask for my future appointment  dr will use .  Drill needle  turbine machine  just to sharpen my teeth .  Would like you to give facts on This matter 

Q1) if drill needle turbine is used only on teeth and not gums . Is it okay ? Even if the needle has HIV in it 


Q2can I get HIV this way when needle is only in contact with teeth and not gums 

Q3anyone ever infected by drill turbine machine ? And I'm also assuming HIV won't be active in such a needle ? Because it cannot store HIV ? Like hollow needles do ? 

Q4 most importantly if he is using the drill only on my teeth is that an access to blood stream ?  Or if it used on gums that's an access to blood stream 

 just to let you it's the drill turbine needle which is used for for normally to level the teeth , or putting  on a crown . That's the one I'm talking about 

Trying my best to make you understand the question 


Thank you just came back to clear this as you are award wining doctor just wanted to know the facts thanks could not find online and was scared to get some wrong info  as you are authentic source 







Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
45 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.   On our Forum all questions regarding herpes go to Ms. Warren and Dr. Handsfield and I split all other questions.  As it happened, today I happened to pick up your question.  As an FYI, having worked closely for more than 35 years, Dr. Handsfield and I never disagree on the content of our replies although our verbal styles vary.  I will be addressing this question today.

HIV is not transmitted in dentists offices when dentists follow recommended procedures.  The only instance in which a dentist has transmitted HIV to a patient was a sad case over 20 years ago when a dentist with HIV intentionally transmitted infection to a patient.  Otherwise all dental procedures are safe and do not put you at risk for HIV as dentists take careful precautions to clean their tools between patients.  In answer to your specific questions:

1.  Dental drills are carefully cleaned between patients and therefore are not a risk for transmission of HIV or other infection. 

2.  Teeth cannot be penetrated by HIV so if the virus were somehow to contact teeth, there would still not be a risk for HIV acquisition.

3.  No, infection has not occurred in the way you suggest.

4.  In many dental procedures there is sometimes some bleeding which occurs as part of the procedures so if the dentist did not follow recommended procedures and precautions, there is a theoretical risk for infection.  The fact however is that dentists are careful about such things and infection has not occurred in this way.

I hope these replies are helpful to you.  As long as your dentist is a trained professional who uses recommended precautions, there is no reason to worry about exposure to HIV from going to the dentist for any sort of procedure.

Having read both these questions and your earlier interaction with Dr. Handsfield, I need to suggest that you are worried more about acquisition of HIV form medical and dental procedures than is appropriate.  Health professionals take great caution and receive special training to avoid any risk for HIV transmission.  EWH


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45 months ago
Thank for the reply 


1)How was the person infected 20 years ago was that through injection of  standard needle ? Or dentist cleaning instruments ? 

2) HIV cannot penetrate teeth that was encouraging  you mean to say even if he used the drill needle on my teeth . That is not a mode of transmission? Because teeth is not access to blood stream ?  Because teeth are dead cells  ?Just some more clarifactiron in this would help 


3) I have examined the needle which will be used . It's not even a needle it's silver and it's solid  closed from the front  no holes it's totally solid and bit round from the top and he will grind the teeth with that . So HIV blood cannot live on such an instrument due to air presence ? 

4 ) I have picture of instruments would you like me to share with you ? 


5) lastly if this solid needle with HIV blood were to come in contact with my gums would that be a risk ? 

Looking forward for a reply 







Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
45 months ago

1.  It is believed that the infection that occurred 20 years ago was through intentional injection of infected material into a patient, not from unclean dental equipment.

2.  Correct.  The enamel which covers the teeth is not susceptible to HIV.

3.  Correct, solid needles do not have holes where blood can accumulate.

4.  We do not look at pictures on this forum as they are often misleading.  Further, no one on this Forum is an expert on dental equipment.  No need to send the picture.

5.  As noted above, solid (as opposed to hollow) needles typically can not carry blood or materials forward from patient to patient.

As I said above, I think your fears are misplaced and urge you to relax and move forward.  EWH.

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45 months ago
Thanks I had a needle phobia and I did not know HIV could be gotton through dentist I just needed a serious break . But I can't get my braces off at the moment 


1) So doctor can I be honest . Can I just simply assume if I don't have unprotected sex and If I don't share actual needles/syringes  with HIV people to inject myself with drugs  in the vein I will never get HIV ? 

2) can I just forget about dental instruments because no syringe or needles are being used ? 

3) last part is the suction equipment which is used to suck the saliva  from your mouth they do it after every 2 minutes because saliva builds up when u keep your mouth open during procedure . I'm assuming that is of no risk also sterile or not because it's just suction of saliva And nobody gets infected this way? 

4 ) I lost a lot of confidence reading too much on the web and don't know what's real or what's fiction .  



5)final thoughts as long I'm not getting an actual injection syringe or needle from dentist I should never be at risk ? 


None of my procedure requires  gum cleaning (scaling ) which I know actually lot of blood comes out I don't have that procedure 

My procedure only involves some teeth grinding and water with just some suction .no blood is involved . 


Since 20 years no one has been infected I can't be the other person to get HIV  for sure this way ? 

Please have a look at point number  1,2 and 3 

Thank you for the help would love if you can kill this thought of mine or maybe I  just don't know how hiv can actually be transmitted besides sex or drug use .  


Main point please see this  :--  Dental instruments sterile or not  =no HIV ? (Assuming syringes are not used )   ?? 


Lastly thank you for the help I'm only confused that's all and just trying to keep myself safe doctor 




Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
45 months ago

Final answers

1.  Yes, that is a reasonable assumption.

2.  Yes, I encourage you to forget about risk associated with dental instruments

3.  There is no risk for infection from the suction equipment in the dentists office.

4.  I would urge you to stay off the internet.  there is much misinformation there.

5.  There is no reason for you to worry about infection with HIV form receipt of injections in licensed medical facilities

The procedures you describe should be safe and should not worry you about acquiring HIV. 

Finally, our site does not encourage or endorse anxiety based questions about HIV.  It is time for you to move on and not worry further about the sorts of questions you have asked of Dr. Handsfield and me.  Please note that the forum does not permit repeated anxiety driven questions by the same users. This will have to be your last one; future new questions on this topic will be deleted without reply and without refund of your posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers; because experience shows that continued answers tends to simply prolong such anxieties, when the real answer normally should be professional counseling; and because such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. I trust you will understand.  Take care.  EWH

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