Gloves have become a staple component of infection control in dentistry, providing personal protection and preventing disease spread. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have published specific guidelines for using utility gloves for dental office to prevent disease transmission and protect against exposure to harsh chemicals such as surface disinfectants.
Latex or Nitrile: Important Choices
For dental clinics, latex gloves have long been the preferred option. They’re biodegradable, sensitive, and stretchy, so they’ll fit like a second skin. Unfortunately, latex allergies are on the rise, and because dentists work on delicate facial features like the cheeks, lips, and chins, a patient’s response can be severe.
Latex allergies can be a problem for dentists and dental hygienists, making the usage of latex gloves extremely inconvenient. While latex gloves are cost-effective, punctures and tiny rips can be difficult to detect, posing a risk to both the dentist and the patient. Latex is also chemically vulnerable and readily degraded. Due to the risks, latex gloves aren’t the ideal choice for dentists.
Disposable nitrile gloves are constructed of synthetic material and may be used for a variety of applications. These utility gloves for dental office are ideal since they can withstand a wide range of solvents and chemicals, and they are a better option for latex-allergic patients and dental professionals.
The most notable characteristic of these gloves is that when a rip or puncture occurs, it is more visible, safeguarding all parties involved. Another interesting feature of these synthetic gloves is that they must pass a battery of tests before being sold as a medical-grade by the Food and Drug Administration.
Indications and Glove Types
Natural rubber latex or synthetic materials like nitrile or vinyl are used to make most patient-care gloves. These can be ambidextrous, meaning they fit both the right and left hands, or fitted, meaning they fit only one hand. Ambidextrous gloves can cause repetitive stress injuries, but hand-specific gloves usually fit better, are more comfortable, and decrease hand and wrist strain.
Patient Care Gloves, Single-Use Disposable Exam gloves are worn while performing operations that require contact with mucous membranes, such as physical examinations. They aren’t meant to be used during surgery.
Surgical gloves are sterile gloves that should be used during any oral surgery. Before putting on these gloves, conduct a surgical hand wash. Individually packed pairs are frequently available in patterns and sizes that are specific to each hand.
Gloves for non-patient care: Utility Gloves Heavy-duty utility gloves are an important piece of personal protective equipment that is frequently overlooked. They aren’t utilized to provide direct treatment to patients. Chemical- and puncture-resistant utility gloves should be used while handling contaminated instruments and performing housekeeping activities (such as cleaning and sanitizing) and jobs requiring chemicals, according to both OSHA and the CDC.
Nonpatient Care Gloves – Utility Gloves: Heavy-duty work gloves provide excellent protection from both percutaneous injury and chemical exposure. They should be cleaned and disinfected after usage, as they are often made of nitrile or neoprene. Some kinds can be heat sterilized; the manufacturer’s instructions for usage will state this (IFU). The FDA does not regulate the production of heavy-duty utility gloves since they are not considered medical devices.
Every oral health practitioner should have a pair of well-fitting utility gloves for dental office on hand. Over gloves for utility work are comparable to food-handling gloves. When doctors need to handle an object, such as remove a hand mirror from a drawer, they can wear them over contaminated exam gloves to prevent cross-contamination.