Gloves for the Dental Office or Dental Laboratory

Gloves for the Dental Office or Dental Laboratory

Gloves are an important piece of the Personal Protective Equipment puzzle when working in a dental office or laboratory, because they protect you from a wide range of infections that can be contracted from coming in contact with microorganisms in the mouth and other substances. Not only do gloves protect you from being contaminated by patients, but they also protect the patient from being contaminated by you.
Gloves in these types of situations are often called the first line of defense, or a universal precaution. These terms result from the immense number of hazards that gloves can protect you from. It is always better to wear gloves as a “universal precaution” rather than suffer from some sort of injury or infection. In fact, wearing gloves consistently can eliminate a majority of bacteria exposure by nearly 80%.
Glove Materials
When it comes to medical gloves that would be used in a dental office or dental laboratory, there are three main categories: natural rubber latex, Nitrile and synthetic.
The latex comes from trees in tropical areas of the world, and the end-product after manufacturing is a glove that has lots of strength and elasticity. However, due to some of the inherent qualities of the rubber as well as some of the processes it goes through during manufacturing, latex gloves have risks associated with them as well, one of which is the allergy symptoms many people experience.

If latex needs to be avoided, then nitrile gloves are the best alternative; some might even say that nitrile is better altogether than latex. In nearly every industry and application, individuals need or want to wear gloves while working.
Gloves are the barrier that protects your hands and skin from unwanted substances like chemicals, oils, and other fluids; not to mention minor cuts and scrapes. Nitrile gloves provide superior protection against chemicals, fluids, cuts, and punctures and on top of that they do not cause the type of allergic reactions that are a result of latex.

Another category of medical gloves are synthetic, meaning anything that is not latex. This category of gloves can come in many different variations, which gives you more flexibility when looking for the best glove for your environment. Not to mention, synthetic medical gloves eliminate any risk or worry of latex allergies. Within this broad category, there are for popular types of synthetic gloves including neoprene, polyurethane, vinyl, and nitrile.
When it comes to choosing the correct glove for your situation and environment, it is always important to list any potential risks or hazards you may face and then look for a glove that has features that will protect you against those. Many synthetic medical gloves are enhanced with different layers of materials or textures that will help improve puncture and chemical resistance. In the dental office or dental laboratory, it is always vital that gloves are worn to protect patients as well as practitioners.

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