“This resource was reprinted with the permission of OSAP. OSAP is a nonprofit organization providing information and education on dental infection control and office safety. For more information, please call (800) 298-6727 or go to www.OSAP.org.”The different types of PPE used in dental health-care settings include:
- Gloves: exam, over-gloves, sterile surgical, and utility
- Face masks: various levels of protection
- Eye protection: safety glasses, chin-length face shield
- Clinical jacket: disposable or reusable
In addition to selecting the right PPE for the purpose, donning and removing PPE should be performed in specific steps to prevent cross-contamination or contact with patient fluids.
Follow these steps for donning PPE:
- Don clinical jacket.
- Seat your patient in the chair.
- Don your face mask and adjust fit.
- Don protective eyewear.
- Wash your hands.
- Don gloves.
Follow these steps for removal of PPE:
- Remove protective eyewear.
- Remove gloves.
- Wash hands.
- Remove face mask by touching only the ties or elastic straps.
- Remove clinical jacket, and be careful not to contaminate your hands.
Wearing the right PPE for the job protects dental health-care workers from contact with blood, body fluids, and other hazardous materials. In addition, wearing PPE conveys a professional image and sends the message to patients that we are concerned about infection control, patient safety, and compliance with OSHA regulations.
If you would like a complimentary PPE chart that you can customize for your office, send your request to [email protected].
Leslie Canham is a dental speaker and consultant specializing in infection control and OSHA compliance. She has more than 36 years of experience in dentistry. Canham is the founder of Leslie Canham Seminars, providing in-office training, mock inspections, consulting, and online seminars and webinars to help the dental team navigate state and federal regulations. Reach Canham at (888) 853-7543 or Leslie Canham.
1. Bolyard EA, Tablan OC, Williams WW, Pearson ML, Shapiro CN, Deitchman SD, Hospital infection control practices advisory committee. Guideline for infection control in health-care personnel. Am J Infect Control 1998; 26:289-354.
2. From Policy to Practice: OSAP's Guide to the Guidelines. Annapolis, Md: OSAP, 2004; 34.