List of Personal Protective Equipment
Gloves may be single-use-disposable non-sterile exam gloves or single-use-disposable sterile surgical
gloves that can be used in a patient’s mouth. Over gloves or food handlers gloves are used over contaminated gloves to obtain supplies or touch non-contaminated surface once the dentist has begun treatment and has body fluids on the exam gloves.
Face masks use in dentistry are primarily to control the exposure of the clinician’s oral and nasal mucous
to BOPIM and the patient’s blood and oral fluids. They should not be considered respirators as they do
not have an air tight fit around the face irrespective of the material’s filtration efficiency. Absence of an
airtight fit around the periphery of the mask increases the chances of air to get inside the mask through the
periphery and this phenomenon is called “blow-by”. If there is a blow-by, then masks cannot be deemed
respirators, nor the filtration efficacy of the material applicable.
3. Protective eye-wear
In dentistry can be goggles, poly carbonate glasses with side-shields, face-shields and prescription glasses
with disposable side-shields. Protective eye-wear must be worn in conjunction with face masks. Even
when a face-shield is worn, a mask must be worn along with it to control exposure to splash/spatter from
the sides. Most eyewear should at least be cleaned with soap and water at the end of each session or when
4. Protective clothing
Scrubs are street clothes and not considered personal protective equipment. A fluid resistant gown that is
full sleeved is adequate for use as protective equipment. Gowns are to be changed between patients to
control cross contamination between patients. If scrubs are used as protective equipment, then reprocessing
(laundering) should be done on premises, done at a laundromat (with contaminated clothes carried in a
biohazard labeled bag) or given to a professional laundry and the costs borne by the employer.
The employer should provide and pay for all clothing and PPE that are used as PPE.