The Cost of Needlestick Injuries

Needlesticks injuries (NSI’s) are a serious hazard in a dental office. With assistants and dentists using needles daily, NSI’s generate significant direct, indirect, potential, and intangible costs.


Direct Costs

Waste and wages are the top money losses when it comes to sharps injuries. They’re easily quantifiable and can greatly affect your bottom line. 

According to an Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology study, the average cost of a needle injury internationally is $747. The average direct costs for each incident ranged from $48 to $1,516, with a median of $425.1

Accidental needlesticks are an unwanted financial drain on any practice. Even more troubling, those numbers don’t take into account legal costs, OSHA violations, or the burden of long-term care for an infected patient.


Indirect Costs

While they may be hard to quantify economically, there are many intangible costs of sharp injuries. They often have a bigger impact on a practice than ones that come with a price tag. The most significant indirect costs are:

  • HCP susceptibility to injury and infection that could lead to Hepatitis B & C and HIV
  • Lost productivity in staff; including the time it takes to report and the follow-up treatment for the injury
  • Psychological stress on HCW’s, resulting in work loss and post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Provider time to evaluate and test a patient, including obtaining consent
  • If something goes wrong, a provider’s time to evaluate and treat an employee
  • A diversion of personnel resources if more than one provider is involved with a procedure


The Best Way to Avoid These Costs

Get a better needle. Traditional needles lead to all these revenue-depleting issues. You need something that was created with efficiency and safety in mind: the SimpleCAP needle system. It has a unique, self-contained protective sheath that reduces the risk of needlestick injuries. Imagine that!


The design of the SimpleCAP system puts the procedure first, making assembly, usage, and disassembly much faster. That means less time wasted. Speaking of less waste, these needles also enter the capsule vertically, which means fewer needles making it into the trash can. It also means you can buy fewer needles in the first place.


So stop needle stick injuries at the point of the procedure with a better needle system. It can significantly reduce the risk of accidental needle sticks, which can save time and money.

1 Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology. (2016, June). How Much do Needlestick Injuries Cost? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890345/



Updated on

September 16, 2020

Authored by:

Dr. Kathy Schrubbe | Dir. of OSHA and infection control

Katherine Schrubbe BSDH MEd PhD is an adjunct professor at Marquette University School of Dentistry and Director of Quality Assurance for Dental Associates. With 30+ years in dental education Schrubbe is a regular speaker of continuing education courses on infection control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. She was the 2003 recipient of the American Association of Dental Research William B. Clark Award for Clinical Research.