Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects patients and practitioners from biohazards and bloodborne pathogens. Gloves are the first line of PPE defense. Although dentists did not start wearing gloves until the 1970s, today, they are an essential part of every dental practice. In one study, glove usage reduced the bacteria on healthcare workers’ hands by more than 80%.
In the dental office, gloves prevent contamination when touching instruments covered in a patient’s blood, saliva, or oral tissues. Gloves also decrease the chance that microorganisms will spread from a dentist’s hand to a patient’s mouth during a procedure.
A dentist should:
- Wear gloves wherever there is potential for contact with saliva, blood, mucous membranes, or other infectious materials.
- Always wear a new pair of gloves for each patient. Doing so prevents transferring microorganisms from patient to patient.
- Remove gloves after each use. Never reuse disposable gloves.
Wearing gloves is important, but proper disposal is equally as crucial. Contaminated gloves can still spread hazardous biological materials.
Dentists must follow a specific process for proper glove removal. Remember never to touch your skin with the outside of either glove.
- Avoid touching any other surfaces, instruments, or people while wearing your contaminated gloves. Cross-contamination puts yourself and others at risk.
- Pinch the outer edge of the glove near the wrist, making sure not to touch the inside of the glove.
- Slowly peel the glove away from your hand, turning it inside out as you pull it off.
- Slide two fingers from your ungloved hand under the glove, making sure only to touch the inside of the glove.
- While holding onto the other used glove in your hand, peel the glove off from the inside. Once removed, discard the glove.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water after removing the gloves.
Proper safety precautions make the dental office safe for patients, staff members, and dentists. Following these steps ensures you do your part in creating a safe environment for everyone.
Here are our top glove recommendations:
2nd Skin black gloves -
TruGrip white gloves -
MicroDerm Natural latex gloves -
NeoShield green gloves -