Dentist gloves are a must in a dental office!
If you have a dentist appointment and your doctor doesn’t use gloves or uses ones that don’t come out of a sealed, clean box, then you should be alarmed!
Dental hygiene is not to be underestimated; excellent dentist knows this like the back of their hands.
Dentists should protect themselves and their patients by offering a healthy and happy experience!
And how can they do so?
Simply by following infection control measures, which include wearing dentist gloves!
Dentist gloves are essential personal protective equipment a dentist will need in their clinic.
They protect you and your patients against bacteria and infection.
Our article will examine how crucial dentist gloves are, their different types, and how to choose them correctly.
In addition, we will discuss some common issues and questions you might be asking yourself while using your dentist gloves.
What are dentist gloves?
Dentist gloves are used by dental practitioners, surgeons, nurses, dental assistants, and dental hygienists while performing various dental procedures.
A dental hygienist handles the same type of materials as other dentists.
In addition to dental tools, wipes, and surgical instruments used on dental patients, they handle toothpaste, tooth whiteners, and dental powders, which can cause infections or irritations.
Moreover, nurses and nurse assistants help floss patients and handle dentures and other surgical instruments.
Dental gloves are essential to infection control measures; they help maintain safety and hygiene.
When using dentist gloves, everyone is protected against the spread of infections from dentists to patients and vice versa.
Dentist gloves are designed in two forms:
Gloves allow the thumb to be in its usual position, thus helping avoid strain and hand fatigue when performing delicate and precise dental procedures.
They are available as left- and right-handed gloves and in various sizes.
- In ambidextrous dentist gloves
Unlike the former type, the thumb is in line with the other fingers in these gloves. It can fit both hands.
So, what makes dentist gloves this important?
Let’s find out.
Why is it essential to use dentist gloves?
Dentist gloves were first introduced in the late 19th century.
However, they were not very popular until the mid-20th century.
Today, they are an irreplaceable part of infection control measures and are also required by law to be worn during all patient care procedures, not only in dentistry but in all medical fields.
According to the CDC’s guidelines for infection control in a dental health care setting, dentist gloves must be worn to prevent contamination of hands and to decrease the chances of microorganisms being transferred from patients to the dentist or the other way around.
Moreover, they must be worn when touching mucous membranes, blood, saliva, or other potentially infectious materials. (1)
There are multiple regulations made by the federal government, the CDC, OSHA, and the American Dental Association (ADA) to help dentists perform their procedures safely and prevent diseases and infections.
Following these guidelines, wearing risuitableisposable dentist gloves, and proper hand hygiene make patients safe during their visits to dental clinics.
Let’s dive more into why they should be used.
Dentist gloves prevent infection.
One of the most common infections that dentists fear when it comes to their work is hepatitis B, C, and AIDS (HIV).
Because dentists are in frequent contact with the patient’s mouth, therefore touching soft tissue, teeth, and mucosal that are known sources for transmitting microorganisms.
With more than 700 species of bacteria detected in the mouth and the ability of some pathogens—such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus—to live on a surface for up to 7 months, they can find their way to you through small breaks or cuts in the skin and around your fingernails if your hands are ungloved. (2)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 296 million people are living with hepatitis virus b (HVB), and 58 million people have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), with 1.5 million new infections every year for both viruses. (3) (4)
The good news is that the prevalence rate among dentists is meager.
However, they are still at risk of infection; therefore, wearing gloves and following suitable infection control measures keeps the rate low!
Dentist gloves prevent contamination of the dental health care professionals (DHCP) when touching oral tissues or instruments soiled with patient blood and saliva.
Further, they reduce hand contamination by 70 to 80 percent. (5)
Dentist gloves prevent cross-contamination
Dentists work with multiple patients per day, handling different tools and instruments.
Dentist gloves help protect the patient from getting infected through the transmission of bacteria from another patient, from the dentists themselves, or from the gloves touching other surfaces, thereby preventing cross-contamination and keeping patients safe.
Dentist gloves are a must when handling dental tools
The dentist’s clinic is full of different devices, instruments, and other equipment that can contaminate patients’ blood or saliva; therefore, wearing dentist gloves while handling them is essential.
Moreover, they help protect your hands against cuts, tears, and punctures that sharp tools and needles can cause.
In addition to injuries, needle punctures can be another source of infection when used on patients with bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis C or AIDS!
Dentist gloves reduce the volume of blood transferred, reducing the risk of infection. (6)
According to the CDC, ADA, OSHA, and many states’ dental boards, dentist gloves are required for all patient interactions.
They must be worn by all dental workers, including dentists, dental surgeons, dental hygienists, dental nurses, and dental assistants.
They help handle dental tools, prevent infections and cross-contamination, and keep dentists and patients safe.
So, what are the types of dentist gloves you can find?
What are the types of dentist gloves?
We can classify dentist gloves according to their design, purpose, or the materials they are made of.
We discussed the design earlier; now, let’s talk about the different types of dentist gloves and what they’re used for.
Dentist examination gloves
These are Single-Use disposable patient care gloves.
As their name suggests, they are used for examining patients and performing procedures involving contact with mucous membranes. However, they are not intended for surgical procedures.
There are two types of dentist gloves according to their use and purpose:
These are sterile gloves used for all oral surgical procedures. They are individually packaged pairs and often come in hand-specific designs and sizes.
Utility dentist gloves are heavy-duty gloves.
They are used for nonpatient care-related tasks such as processing contaminated instruments and cleaning, disinfecting, and chemical studies.
They protect against physical and chemical injuries and exposures.
They are usually made of nitrile or neoprene and should be washed and disinfected.
Moreover, they are not considered medical devices; therefore, the FDA does not regulate their manufacturing standards.
Furthermore, they may be worn over contaminated exam gloves to prevent cross-contamination when the dentist needs to handle an item.
Now that we know the different types of dentist gloves according to their use let’s see the most common material that can be used for dentists’ gloves.
Let’s learn more about each material and determine the best dentist gloves.
Can dentist gloves be made of latex?
Latex gloves have been the gold standard in the medical industry, and most dental healthcare professionals love and prefer latex dentist gloves.
Dentist gloves are made of natural rubber latex, giving them superior tensile strength, unmatched elasticity, and excellent hand dexterity. They allow a superb grip over dental tools such as tooth Polish, scalpels, and caps.
Dental procedures require high skill and precision, which is why they were and still are a favorite among many dentists.
In addition to their comfort and fit, they offer the highest levels of protection against bloodborne pathogens with good chemical resistance.
If you’re sourcing to buy high-quality dentist gloves made of latex, you can click here!
However, latex dentist gloves have one drawback that has made them a little less popular than before: latex allergies.
Let’s delve more into this.
How can dentists deal with latex allergies?
Natural rubber latex can cause an allergic reaction in cespecificndividuals; it can be as simple as redness or rashes, but it could also be more serious, life-threatening reactions such as trouble breathing and anaphylactic shock.
The percentage of latex allergies among healthcare workers (HCWs) worldwide is 9.7%. (7)
Therefore, latex gloves are not suitable for everyone.
However, if you are positive that neither you nor your patients are allergic to latex components, latex dentist gloves are a great, cost-effective option.
With just one click, you can get latex dentist gloves with the lowest traces of latex proteins here at MEDRux.
But if you are allergic to them, don’t worry!
Let’s talk more about them.
Nitrile Dentist gloves, Best gloves for dentists?
Let’s see why.
Nitrile gloves are made of butadiene rubber, a synthetic rubber with zero latex proteins, meaning no chance of triggering latex allergic reactions.
If you’re looking for excellent-grade nitrile dentist gloves, check out MEDRux nitrile gloves here!
Nitrile offers almost the same flexibility and elasticity as latex gloves (the difference is negligible); they are flexible with perfect touch sensitivity like no other latex alternative.
They are also made with a micro-roughened surface, allowing you to grab the tools comfortably and precisely!
Moreover, they are an excellent protective barrier against infections and prevent cross-contamination.
They also have extraordinary cut-and-tear resistance so that you can use sharp dental instruments and needles safely.
And any hole or puncture that can happen to them is easily visible, letting you know it’s time to change and prevent infections!
Furthermore, one of the properties of nitrile dentist gloves in which it excels over any other is its chemical resistance.
Nitrile is highly chemically resistant to various chemicals and solvents used for dental work, like formaldehyde or bleach.
They are durable with a longer shelf life and easy to don and doff with less friction than latex gloves.
Finally, they are available in various colors and sizes to match the dental practice’s clinic décor and color palette.
For all these reasons, nitrite dentist gloves are a game changer and the top choice for many dentists and other healthcare professionals.
In addition to nitrile and latex, one more common alternative is a vinyl dentist glove, but can you rely on them?
Can you rely on Vinyl dentist gloves for protection?
Vinyl dentist gloves are made from synthetic polyvinyl chloride; they are soft, comfortable, and easy to put on and remove.
Moreover, they are the most inexpensive option, as PVC is produced in huge quantities and has a long shelf life.
One of the best advantages of vinyl dentist gloves is that they are latex-free, and the chances you might get a latex allergy when wearing them are nonexistent.
However, they have higher virus leakage and permeability than latex and nitrile. (8)
They do not offer a protective barrier against body fluids and bloodborne pathogens.
Additionally, they can get loose quickly as they are less elastic than latex and nitrile, which can compromise the tight fit required for precise experiments, compromising the protection needed.
What’s more, they do not offer excellent resistance to many chemicals.
Therefore, vinyl isn’t the best material for dentist gloves; you may only use it for routine tasks without blood or fluid contact.
Now let’s see how to choose the best dental gloves for your practice.
How to choose the right dentist gloves?
However, choosing the right dentist gloves is not as simple as picking up the material.
When deciding on material, you will mainly look at your allergies; non-latex materials such as nitrile dentist gloves should be used for latex allergies.
Visa versa, latex gloves should be used for nitrile allergy.
Meanwhile, when choosing dentist gloves, there are multiple factors you may need to assess before deciding on one.
Let’s discuss how to choose the best dentist gloves.
The most important criteria to consider when selecting gloves are the task at hand, what these gloves will protect you against, and whether they suit your job.
This will determine whether you need examination, surgical, or even heavy-duty (HD) dentist gloves.
Sterile gloves are needed when performing surgical procedures, while non-sterile dentist gloves are used for examinations and other dental procedures.
Let’s see more features you should consider when selecting dentist gloves!
Dental procedures require a lot of touch sensitivity, so you can quickly feel the tools and what you do.
Dentist gloves are available in a wide range of thicknesses, from 2 to 15 mils.
The greater the thickness, the more protective the gloves are regarding chemical, tear, cut, and puncture resistance.
However, this means less dexterity and tactile sensitivity.
So, the right dentist gloves with the right thickness should offer you a balance between protection, touch sensitivity, and skill.
Grip and texture
Dental healthcare professionals always seek a better feel and enhanced grip.
Because their work is delicate and precise, they need a good grip on the tools to perform the procedures efficiently and comfortably.
Smooth gloves are usually the standard for all disposable gloves; however, they are not best suited for dental work because they can cause slipping and other difficulties.
Therefore, dentists prefer textured gloves.
Textured gloves offer surface reaction and increase pinch grip, all while reducing hand fatigue.
Gloves can be textured on the palm, fingertips, or both!
If you need high-quality textured gloves with superb grip for different instruments in dry and wet conditions, you can check MEDRux diamond-grip nitrile dentist gloves here.
And get your quote here.
Size and fit
Choosing the right size and fit might be as crucial as wearing gloves.
Things can be difficult if your dentist’s gloves don’t fit you correctly.
Choosing too-tight gloves will make your hands uncomfortable, causing fatigue and overheating, and you may be unable to perform your tasks effectively.
Moreover, they will be overstretched, compromising the gloves’ barrier and making them less effective in protecting you.
On the other hand, if your gloves are too loose, they may get entangled with your tools and equipment, making your hands feel clumsy and making work more difficult.
Additionally, they may slip off or get damaged easily, thus compromising your protection.
When choosing the right size, you get both protection and comfort.
Since there are nono universal gloves in every hand’s proportions, most gloves are available in various sizes.
Ensure you read the gloves’ size chart and that your dentist gloves comfortably fit your fingers, palm, and wrist.
Furthermore, make sure you test your gloves before you buy an excellent bulk order for your clinic by ordering a test sample.
MEDRux offers free-of-charge samples to decide how much you love our gloves; you can get yours here.
You will use your gloves for extended periods and daily, so they should be as comfortable as possible.
Dentist gloves’ comfort combines the gloves’ thickness, flexibility, and choosing the correct size.
MEDRux gloves offer great comfort; they are made using anatomical forms to increase comfort and fit and decrease hand fatigue. You can get your quote here.
Durability and physical protection
Dentist gloves should protect you against cuts, tears, abrasions, and punctures.
Additionally, gloves become weaker and more susceptible to tearing when used for extended periods.
Dentist gloves with beaded cuffs should be durable and tear-resistant to last longer.
They should also be made of high-quality, durable materials to withstand stretching and sharp tools.
MEDRux gloves use high-grade nitrile and latex materials with high tear resistance and can withstand pressure and stretching.
Dental professionals may be exposed to several chemicals during their work.
Many chemicals can penetrate through the dentist’s gloves and either damage them and cause skin irritations and harm your hands, or they can weaken the barrier of the gloves, leaving you compromised and more susceptible to microorganisms.
Therefore, you must know the chemicals and chemical mixtures you may encounter and how you will handhandleort or take a long time.”
Moreover, your gloves should be made of materials that can withstand and resist them.
Additionally, they must be of the right thickness and good quality.
Colors and fragrances
Different gloves in dental offices prevent cross-contamination when each color is used for specific purposes.
Additionally, some dental offices like to color-coordinate their scrubs and dentist gloves.
Furthermore, dentist gloves of different colors can be used in double gloving to help detect punctures and tears easily.
Dentist gloves are available in a variety of colors and scents.
Poor-quality dentist gloves can affect your work efficiency and your safety as well.
On the other hand, when you have excellent-quality gloves from a trusted and reliable manufacturer, you can put your mind at ease about whether these gloves will let you down because they most certainly won’t.
Now that we know how to choose the right dentist gloves, it’s time to answer some related concerns and questions.
Can you use powdered dentist gloves?
Traditionally, latex dentist gloves were powdered so you could put them on and remove them quickly.
The powder also helps to keep the gloves separated when in the box and acts as a barrier in heated and humid conditions.
However, they are no longer preferred because of several health problems and allergies associated with the powders and their traces.
Moreover, in 2016, the FDA banned powdered gloves in healthcare settings, including dentistry. (9)
In addition to the polymer coating, there is a chlorination option.
Let’s find out more about it.
Chlorinated Vs. Non-Chlorinated dentist gloves
When you select your dentist gloves, you can find chlorinated and non-chlorinated gloves; which is better?
As the name indicates, chlorinated gloves are treated with chlorine instead of powdered for easier donning and doffing.
So, they can be used without fear of powder residues causing allergies.
However, they have a short shelf life, and some dentists don’t like the smell of chlorine.
Moreover, if you are allergic to chlorine, you would want to avoid them.
Meanwhile, chlorine-free dentist gloves are coated with a gel or silicone coat; they are more like regular examination gloves.
Nevertheless, they are more susceptible to allergies.
So, your choice will depend on how allergic you are to chlorine!
And after all, polymer-coated nitrile dentist gloves have much fewer chances of causing allergies than both.
Why Glove Ergometric and design is vital in dentist gloves?
Dentists use gloves daily for long periods, which can cause hand fatigue and musculoskeletal muscle problems.
What’s more, dental procedures involve repetitive hand and wrist muscle activity, which, in a pinched position, can severely impact the hand and arm.
As a result, symptoms such as hand fatigue, inflammation of the tendons, and carpal tunnel syndrome can occur.
More than 50% of dentists reported hand fatigue, and around 65% of registered dental hygienists have had carpal tunnel syndrome. (10)
The symptoms can include reduced grip strength, a loss of coordination and pain in movement, and a reduced range of motion.
It can be painful and make you less productive, cost you expensive medical treatments, and cause possible long-term impairment if not treated.
Recently, some brands have begun to consider the health of DHCP hands and produce ergonomically friendly gloves.
When you choose these gloves, you are protecting your hands in the long term.
At MEDRux, we prioritize your health; our gloves are ambidextrous and don’t force your thumb or hand into stress positions.
What’s more, they are made with anatomically suitable shapes that reduce strains, prevent hand fatigue, and minimize the risk of developing hand injuries.
Finally, we hope you have everything you need about dentist gloves.
Don’t hesitate to send us a message if you have more inquiries.