Safety Blog

Personal protective equipment in the dental practice

05 May 2020 - Flaaim

Personal protective equipment should be worn to prevent and reduce the risk of disease transmission when performing dental procedures that may result in blood exposure. The protective equipment is designed to protect the skin, eyes, mouth, nose, and the respiratory system from exposure to germs that can cause diseases and other ailments.

When engaging in dental practices, there is a possibility of coming into contact with organisms from the patient or other staff members in the room and germs that can cause harm to a human body through contact to the skin, oral tissues, or inhalation as they can also be airborne.

Listed below are the basic items that should comprise of a personal protective equipment gear;

Protective Clothing

Personal protective equipment in the dental practice While operating in a dental practice, one should put on gowns and lab coats that have long sleeves and long enough for protection of the forearms from splashing of cleaning material, gush from the mouth, or any spray of blood.

This clothing should be changed on a daily basis or whenever any liquid soils it. It should be removed before leaving the work area and the dirty clothing should be placed in the right designated areas for disposal and cleaning.

Gloves

To perform any procedure in a dental practice, one should put on surgical gloves to prevent and reduce the risk of touching the blood with bare hands thus reducing the chance of getting infections from the blood.

The gloves used in these procedures should fit the hands properly and should be discarded once they are used on one patient and should not be washed as it may cause further contamination.

Surgical masks

Personal protective equipment in the dental practice These masks cover the nose and the mouth and should be worn for all clinical activities that are likely to generate splash and aerosols. They should have a filtration efficiency of more than 95% and should filter microorganisms that are greater than 3 microns.

Wet masks as a result of exhaled air or any other cause should be changed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of germs settling on the wet part.

Protective eyewear

To prevent splashes and splatters getting into one’s eyes during a dental procedure, one should wear protective eyewear. It should have solid side shields and the patients should also be provided with the same to protect their eyes as well.

Once the procedure is finished, it should be cleaned properly and stored adequately for another round of use

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