PPE in dentistry

PPE in dentistry

The coronavirus outbreak has led to PPE in dentistry to become more important than ever and as dentists deal with aerosols, as they deal with aerosol generating procedures, so have been hit harder than most as it puts them in high risk of infection. PPE is vital not just for dentists but also for dental nurses and all others working in oral healthcare professions. Dental work by necessity involves working with the mouths and teeth of patients.

Coronavirus is known to spread through droplets exhaled when a person speaks, sneeze or breathes. It’s vitally important for those working in dentistry to ensure that they have the correct protective gear at all times so neither they nor they patients are put at risk. So, what are the important pieces of PPE in dentistry and why should all medical staff working at dental practices have access to them?

Face masks

Face masks have become ubiquitous since the Covid-19 outbreak, but as PPE in dentistry they’re even more important than in other settings. Working with patients’ mouths puts dental staff at risk of contracting the virus, as it is spread through aerosols.

The use of correctly fitting face masks helps to ensure that dental staff and their patients remain as safe as possible during vital medical procedures. It is vital for dentists and related staff to have medical-grade face masks that effectively block virus transmission. In order to minimise transmission risk, face masks should be disposable.

Gloves

All dentists must wear gloves while conducting examinations. These dentist gloves should preferably be made of nitrile, as nitrile is thin enough to allow for the fine motor movements dentistry requires while still protecting the wearer from infections. Nitrile gloves are the preferred gloves in dentistry as they are three times less likely to tear than latex gloves. When punctured, a nitrile glove completely tears, making the protection it was giving rendered useless, and the risk of infection is a concern immediately. Nitrile gloves also come with the advantage of having a longer shelf-life than alternatives.

For more information read our Nitrile Gloves FAQ’s

Gowns

As well as nitrile gloves and goggles, the WHO recommends that dentists wear long-sleeved gowns over their scrubs. These gowns are single-use (per patient) disposable items. Disposable gowns have the advantage of being light weight yet offering protection for the arms, legs and torso while carrying out examinations. It is important to cover up as much of the body as possible while conducting dental procedures.

Goggles

Goggles or another form of eye covering are also advisable bits of PPE in dentistry. Coronavirus can enter the body through any mucous membranes, including those in the eyes, so it is important to ensure that the eyes are properly protected. Goggles should either be disposable or should be autoclavable between uses to minimise risk of infection.

How can Medic Shield help?

Medic Shield can help ease your organisation’s PPE-related worries. We are suppliers of high-quality PPE including nitrile gloves, gowns and aprons that have been certified as being suitable for use in dental settings. Medic Shield’s equipment is independently tested at medical universities in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, so you can rest assured that you have been supplied with excellent quality, medical grade PPE. Why risk ordering fake, poor quality PPE when you could contact Medic Shield for reliable, affordable products today?

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