If dental employees choose not to wear proper gloves while working, they run the strong likelihood of contracting occupational contact dermatitis, which is essentially irritated and damaged skin. When your skin experiences prolonged contact dermatitis it is likely you’ll develop eczema, which allows for chemicals to more easily penetrate your skin.
Different glove materials have a varying ability to protect against certain chemicals and substances. In order to make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common types of gloves and what they are best suited to protect against.
The two main categories of gloves you have to choose from are natural rubber and synthetic. Natural rubber gloves are latex, which are less commonly used because of the allergy risks they pose to employees as well as patients. If you do opt to use latex gloves, you’ll want to note that they do not do well protecting against oils, ketones, or organic chemicals. They will do fine to protect you against alcohols, acids and aqueous solutions.
When it comes to synthetic gloves, there are a large number of different types of materials. Generally speaking, synthetic gloves will have a higher inherent resistance to chemicals. The two most popular synthetic gloves in the dental industry are nitrile and neoprene. Nitrile does an excellent job protecting against most organic solvents including fats, oils, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Nitrile does not do well resisting halogenated hydrocarbons, aldehydes, or strong acids. Neoprene is best used with aldehydes, alcohols, or acids and shouldn’t be used with aromatic or halogenated solvents.