In the past, it was not uncommon to see someone wearing a face mask while waiting in the lobby of the emergency room or while on an airplane. Nowadays, you may not be able to recognize your neighbor or friend at the grocery store because all you can see is their eyes. This piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) is the most commonly used item by individuals and healthcare providers, but what else is your dentist in Phoenix using to keep themselves and others safe during an appointment? Read on to find out about the 4 most important items your dental team will be wearing at your next visit.
While you might assume that standard glasses and/or contacts are enough to keep harmful germs from floating into your eyes, unfortunately, they are not. Instead, specialized protective eyewear is necessary for all dental staff. Due to the close proximity between patients and hygienists/dentists, certain instruments and equipment used during an appointment can cause saliva, bacteria, and even blood to splatter or splash. These clear glasses make it possible to protect against these fluids that can cause serious illness.
From surfaces like door handles and countertops to dental instruments and equipment to a patient’s mouth, gloves are a proven solution for your dentist to avoid infection. While these hand coverings do pick up germs along the way, they can prevent any cross-contamination when working with sterile instruments while caring for an individual’s mouth.
Will your dentist wear the same set when dealing with the next person? Absolutely not. It is required that gloves be properly disposed of after each patient.
Face Mask/Face Shield
Much like why you wear your mask while grocery shopping, your dentist wears one to avoid transmitting or contracting germs. While there is debate on which ones are best, you can expect that the N95 surgical masks will be worn for the most effective protection. But that is not the only facial covering your dentist will be wearing. As an additional dental safety protocol, a face shield will be worn should they need to perform an aerosol-generating procedure, as this prevents any splatter or splashes from coming into contact with the face.
While their hands will remain covered during an appointment, so will their arms, legs, chest, and feet. Apart from the protective clothing (i.e. scrubs) they wear at work, you can expect your dental team to be wearing a disposable gown and maybe even shoe coverings. This keeps any bodily fluid (i.e. blood, saliva) from landing on exposed skin and potentially causing problems.
Because COVID-19 is easily transmitted via close contact with an infected individual, your dentist will be taking great precautions to pre-screen all patients and staff to prevent anyone who is sick from entering the dentist’s office. While this greatly lowers the risk of infection, the use of PPE offers an added layer of protection for staff while giving you greater peace of mind.
About the Author
Want to know what Dr. John Ludu is doing to keep himself and all his patients safe? Aside from strict cleaning protocols and other safety guidelines, he and his dental team are taking great care to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid unnecessary germs and bacteria from traveling between staff and visitors. This necessary step is being followed by dental offices throughout the country, so if you want to know more about how these PPE keep everyone healthy and virus-free, contact us at (623) 444-6222.