Use of personal protective equipment in dental clinics
Time:Nov 16, 2021
In the field of dentistry, we not only work with patients whose medical history may be unknown, but also deal with a large number of hazardous materials that can harm our health.

Risk assessment, health and safety legislation, and the 2002 Control of Hazardous Health Substances (COSHH) Regulations are designed to help dental professionals stay safe in the work environment. However, if anyone fails to properly wear or even wear personal protective equipment (PPE), only dental professionals will be blamed for unnecessary exposure to harmful pathogens or dangerous substances.

When combined with risk assessment and other control measures, PPE is seen as the last resort in the protection chain.

The risk of dental nurses being exposed to infectious hazards during surgery is as great as that of operating clinicians. In fact, the author would suggest that given the nature of the work performed by dental nurses, they may face a higher risk of exposure.

The handling of sharps and contaminated equipment, the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals, the risk of splashing, and the aerosols that are always present in mobile phones and other aerosol-producing devices expose dental nurses to a large number of infectious/risk factors. Well-known infectious diseases include HIV, HBV, HBC and Herpes B.

There are other transmissible pathogens, including prions and fungi (Leggat et al., 2007). To minimize this risk, dental nurses need to wear PPE. Any activity performed by a dental nurse is risky and may increase the risk during surgery or cleaning procedures. There are proper procedures and risk assessments to protect dental nurses. They should follow these regulations to ensure the health and safety of patients, colleagues and themselves.

Examination gloves
Gloves are disposable items used to protect operators from possible contamination by blood and other body fluids (such as saliva and pus) that they may come into contact with. Gloves can also protect the patient from the spread of any harmful pathogens from the operator. They cannot provide an effective barrier to sharps injuries, but they can provide some protection, because any sharps that pass through the gloves to damage the skin may "wipe" on the gloves before being injured.

Face mask
The face mask is a disposable item used to protect the operator from aerosol inhalation and splashing, and should be worn for all procedures. The mask must always be worn correctly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It is unacceptable to place the mask under the nose to help breathing or prevent fogging of the goggles, because in this case the mask will lose all effectiveness.

Goggles/glasses/goggles can protect the eyes of operators and patients from destructive aerosols, debris, foreign objects and splashes entering the eyes. They should be worn during all procedures (including examinations) because the probe may slip from the operator's hand and damage the patient's eyes. Ordinary prescription glasses cannot provide adequate protection. When necessary, operators who have difficulty working without glasses should wear sun visors. Some goggles are disposable, but many are reusable. In this case, the manufacturer's decontamination instructions should be .

Personal clothing should not be worn when treating patients, and your employer should provide suitable work clothes. This should be replaced when it is contaminated, and even then it should be replaced every day. When washing, any clinical clothing should be washed at 60°C or above to kill contaminants. Any clothing worn in a clinical setting must not be worn outside the practice setting.

The bib is used to protect the patient's clothing from splashes and splashes, whether it is body fluids or reagents used by the operator. Although the bibs have no direct protection against the ingress of contaminants, they are still PPE because the patient's clothes need to be protected during the operation.

Disposable apron
Disposable aprons should be worn when performing decontamination procedures that involve cleaning the instrument. These are worn to protect the operator’s clothing from splashes, which will require replacement of the complete equipment.
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