If you're looking to buy dental gloves for your practice, you've come to the right place! Many people don't know the difference between all the different types of gloves that one could use in a dental practice. Choosing suitable gloves will help keep you and your patients safe while performing your job, make your job more comfortable and save you money. This article will cover tips on choosing the right dental gloves and specific examples of popular products in the market today.
There are many reasons why dentists wear gloves while they work. One of the most basic reasons is that disposable gloves protect both the patient as well as the dentist or hygienist from viruses and bacteria found in blood or other bodily fluids. Gloves will also keep the working environment sanitary.
Material Facts There are many factors to consider when choosing the right dental gloves for your practice. While any glove labeled as “exam”, “examination”, “medical grade” or similar is FDA approved and may be used material is still a very important factor. Dental work requires a lot of dexterity and you cannot have dexterity if you are wearing stiff, uncomfortable gloves. Gloves are typically made of latex, nitrile, or vinyl. Latex used to be a popular choice because it generally provides the greatest comfort and dexterity at a cost effective price however in this day and age with many concerns about latex allergies nitrile is the new king. Another factor to consider is powder. Due to FDA regulations powdered gloves can no longer be used for medical purposes. Also, consider the thickness of the glove. Generally speaking we find that a glove in the 4-5 mil thickness range provides the right all-around balance that most dental professionals look for and these will also generally be less expensive. It’s a win-win situation.
One of the most important factors in choosing the right glove is size. It makes sense that the gloves should not be baggy or loose but also not too tight either. For example size small gloves will tend to have a shorter finger length than size medium gloves. This means if you choose a glove that is too small you will be left with a webbing between your fingers and the gloves will be uncomfortable to use. If in doubt we recommend going one size larger.
Here are some tips for choosing and caring for your dental gloves:
1. Make sure you choose a glove that fits well and is comfortable to wear because you’ll be wearing them all day long.
2. Consider the material of the glove – latex, nitrile, or vinyl. Nitrile is the most popular by far.
3. If you have latex allergies or are unsure if your patient does choose a non-latex glove such as nitrile or vinyl.
4. Wash your hands thoroughly when changing gloves making sure to remove all soap residue. You don’t want to leave potential skin irritants on your hands and then cover them with a glove.
5. Store your gloves in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight. Heat and sunlight will damage gloves very quickly
There are three main types of examination gloves: latex, nitrile, and vinyl. Each type has its pros and cons that you should consider when choosing which type is right for your practice.
1. You should always buy gloves that have been tested and approved by the FDA. These will be labeled with the words “exam”, “examination”, or “medical” on the packaging. If it does not have these words or similar the gloves are NOT approved by the FDA for medical use and you should not use them in a dental practice.
2. Make sure to buy powder-free gloves.
3. Nitrile gloves are a good option because they're strong, comfortable, and cost effective especially in the lower thickness ranges most suitable for dental work. These gloves are also not made with natural rubber latex (NBR) that can cause issues for some users and patients.
4. You'll need to decide how many cases of gloves to buy based on how often you see patients. Dental offices can be high volume users of gloves and oftentimes you’ll find volume discounts available that really make it worthwhile to purchase 10 cases or more at a time. These discounts should be considered as it is like putting money in the bank.