Did you know workers in the medical and dental industries use an average of 15 pairs of disposable gloves each day which equates to 3 960 pairs each year?
It is known that the ‘hand of the dentist’ plays, as a source of infection, a role which should not be underestimated. The hands are the first route of the contamination, and it is estimated that 70 to 80% of infections are carried by hands.
Given they form an effective physical barrier and play a vital role in protecting the health of patients and clinical staff, careful consideration should be given to how well gloves protect against not only microorganisms, but also the vast chemicals dental professionals interact with each day.
A study found that there were four main factors guiding the choice of gloves for dental professionals including:
- The type of glove (latex vs. nitrile etc.)
- The size of glove (XS/S/M/L/XL etc.)
- The medical task to be completed
- The medical history of patient (allergy to latex)
Despite these factors, results found that 86% of respondents primarily chose gloves according to size. Reasons given for not wearing gloves routinely included problems of comfort, loss of tactile sensation, cost and the risk of cross-infection, which was perceived to be small.
In dentistry, professionals are exposed to dozens of diverse chemicals daily when disinfecting, sterilising equipment, creating dentures or performing other tasks. The circumstances of glove use are so varied that one specific type of glove cannot satisfy the entirety of the dentist needs.
A glove that provides protection against one type of chemical may offer poor protection against another chemical. Dental professionals should carefully choose their gloves in part based on the chemicals they may be exposed to during each day.
The majority of dental professionals’ gloves are not exposed to chemicals continuously or for long periods of time. Instead, gloves are exposed to chemicals mainly in the event of a splash, for brief periods of time. Depending on the chemical, its concentration, and volatility, even limited exposure can result in molecular changes to the glove material, permitting for permeation. Despite chemical permeation often going undetected, repeated exposure to chemicals over time are likely to cause irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis.
Gloves manufactured of different polymers will have diverse chemical resistance properties. Advice surrounding the Chemical Permeation Breakthrough Test Times (BTT) should be sourced from glove manufacturers who are likely to provide information on how well gloves resist the active chemicals in the various sterilant, disinfectants, impression materials and other substances worked with.
At Gienic, we have Latex and Nitrile gloves available, each having unique strengths and weaknesses when exposed to different chemical types. The table below provides a guide to glove polymers and their resistance to chemicals.
Our latex gloves are primarily used by dental professionals considering their performance and qualities. The use of latex gloves is not completely without risk since certain reactions of allergies especially related to natural latex are increasingly being reported. Listed below are two of our latex and nitrile glove products:
Designed to offer a unique blend of comfort and protection, these silicone free examination gloves serve as an optimal barrier against biological contaminants. Resistant to puncturing and fully textured for improved wet and dry grip, they provide excellent strength and tactility. A beaded cuff also ensures prevent liquid roll off.
Providing excellent stretch and strength, these new and improve examination gloves are latex free. Offering superior barrier protection over latex and vinyl, the micro textured fingers and nitrile formulation provides exceptional feel and sensitivity, minimising hand fatigue when used for extended periods. HACCP certified and TGA listed.
“Sourcing durable and medical grade Nitrile gloves for our clinic during the Pandemic has been faultless. Those allergic to latex no longer have to stress thanks to Gienic.”
Willem, Western Australia
“Finally, we have found gloves that are stronger and feel better on our hands compared to others! Supreme quality and service. Highly recommend!”