Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has quickly become a term used by more than just the healthcare community. As citizens don face masks of all kinds, dental teams throughout the country are also added new pieces to their daily attire. From gloves and face shields to disposable gowns and protective eyewear, these PPE are designed to offer additional protection against COVID-19. Spend a few moments learning about these items and why they’re important for both you and those working in the dental office.
Gloves: Keeping Hands Clean
Dentists are required to use their hands when treating a patient. This doesn’t just mean pointing to areas of the mouth that require dental care. It means using instruments and equipment to reach the smallest crevices of the oral cavity. Gloves help to protect the patient from contracting germs and bacteria that can exist underneath a dentist or hygienist’s nails or on their palms and fingertips. It also serves to protect dental professionals from harmful bacteria living inside a person’s mouth.
Face Masks and Shields: The Barrier Against Bacteria
Saliva and blood are two of the most common bodily fluids dentists come into contact with on a daily basis. Because many procedures require aerosol-generating equipment, splashes and sprays can project upward and onto the face. To protect against any harmful pathogens from reaching this area of the body, your dentist will be wearing a face mask and shield.
Disposable Gowns: Avoiding Contact with Clothes
Although these gowns are designed to cover exposed areas of the body, they are also meant to keep additional bacteria from reaching their personal clothing. Researchers have found that bacterium can live on clothes for longer than originally thought, which is why an additional dental safety protocol is being implemented to remind staff members to change into and out of work clothes when they arrive and before they leave to go home.
Protective Eyewear: Safeguarding Sight
Just like a face mask and shield protect the face (i.e. nose, mouth) from possible contamination, protective eyewear keeps these same germs and bacteria from hindering your dentist’s sight. It is far too easy for these tiny microbes to travel from a patient, which is why these clear glasses help dental teams better protect their eyes.
While the staff may look as if they belong in a biohazard facility, rest assured this PPE is meant to keep you and others safe. There is no need to be concerned. Instead, feel confident knowing that your dentist is taking the right steps to avoid COVID-19.
About the Author
At Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry in Glenpool, OK, our team of dental professionals is working diligently to keep everyone safe from the potential threat of COVID-19. This highly infectious disease is the reason guidelines are now in place for all dental team members to wear personal protective equipment. It is our responsibility to make sure you feel safe during your next appointment, so if you have additional questions or concerns about an upcoming visit please check out our website or call (918) 216-1000.