As dental professionals, it is important that your dentist and their team avoid unnecessary germs. This can prove difficult, especially since the reality of the job is to work within a patient’s mouth – an area that can be filled with harmful bacteria. Fortunately, some objects can be worn to offer an added layer of protection. Known as personal protective equipment (PPE), these items are what is keeping those working inside a dental office from contracting or spreading COVID-19. To learn which PPE is most popular and beneficial when it comes to protecting both dentists and patients, read on.
Creating a Shield for the Face
Face masks are a common sight among healthcare workers and regular citizens these days. However, the face shield is typically only seen when entering a dentist or doctor’s office. Not only is the mask helpful at filtering out airborne particles, but the shield is designed to protect against blood or saliva splatter or spray when performing an aerosol-generating procedure.
Keeping Hands Germ-Free
Because dentists must work with their hands to clean and restore a patient’s smile, gloves make it possible to keep bacteria from creeping underneath the nails or onto the palms. While dental teams are required to trim their nails to avoid dirt accumulation beneath the nail bed, gloves also protect patients from contracting anything that could be living on a dentist or hygienist’s hands.
Protecting Eyes for Better Sight
Clean hands are vital to a dentist’s ability to perform his or her work but so are the eyes. Being able to see areas of the smile that are plagued with decay or damage is crucial to providing an accurate treatment plan for a patient. To shield a dentist’s eyes from possible contamination, protective eyewear is worn. These clear glasses make it possible to avoid any germs or bacteria that could spray upward during a cleaning or procedure.
Covering Exposed Areas and Clothes
While a disposable gown may not be the easiest piece of PPE to maneuver around in, your dentist may find it to be more cost-effective than traditional lab coats. These items can be removed and disposed of easily, preventing any bodily fluid or harmful pathogens from being transmitted onto another individual. Because bacteria can live on clothing much longer than originally thought, gowns are a great way to protect personal clothing as well as any exposed areas of the body (i.e. forearms, neck).
Before you arrive, don’t be afraid to call and speak to a team member about what you can expect. While these measures might come across as impersonal or worrisome, trust that the PPE worn by your dentist and staff is just one more way they’re keeping your health and safety in mind.
About the Author
Preparing for an upcoming dentist appointment? Unsure if you will be safe? Dr. Matthew Nawrocki understands your concern, which is why he and his team will be taking every precaution to ensure you feel at ease during your visit. From the cleanliness of the office to the protection worn by dental staff, you can trust that the dental office you’re entering is one that is free of harmful germs and bacteria. If you want to know what other protocols are being implemented by Dr. Nawrocki, contact us at (904) 272-1588.