HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS)– The Pennsylvania Department of Health is urging some Berks County residents to get tested after an investigation discovered that a dental facility did not follow appropriate infection control procedures.
According to the health department, the Center for Family and Specialty Dentistry in Reading, Berks County did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect, or sterilize devices at their 2642 Bernville Road location.
Patients who visited the office between Dec. 19, 2015, and Oct. 19, 2016 are urged to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, officials said.
“While we haven’t received reports of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV from patients, infection control procedures at this practice were inadequate and created the potential for harm, so we’re recommending patients get tested,” said Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy. “We prefer that patients receive information regarding their health directly from their provider. However, in this case, that did not happen, so we’ve contacted patients of this practice directly.”
The department recommends testing for current or former patients who had dental procedures performed at the office, such as cleanings, fillings, implants, denture fittings, and other procedures.
On Oct. 21, the department sent a letter to the practice to cease and desist all patient care, as well as issued formal recommendations to improve patient safety.
The Bernville Road location remains closed at this time.
“Infection control is an essential step in patient safety that cannot be overlooked,” said Secretary of State Pedro Cortés. “It’s important to talk to your dentist about infection control and what they are doing to protect you while under their care.”
On Nov. 4, the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended the dental licenses of Dr. Stephen Sulzbach, of Greenville, Mercer County, and Drs. Jana and Eric Osmolinski, of La Jolla, California, who practiced at the Center for Family and Specialty Dentistry, on the grounds that their continued practice may be an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety.
The temporary suspensions remain in effect pending further action by the board.
Patients can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) for more information.