Figure 9-1. - Heavy-duty utility gloves.
A thorough review of each patient's current medical history is mandatory before initiating any dental examination or treatment procedure.
An effective approach to disease prevention is to reduce exposure to potentially dangerous micro-organisms that may contaminate the body.
A method called the "barrier technique" provides a physical barrier between the body and source of contamination. Barrier techniques include the use of personnel protective equipment (PPE) and surface covers. PPE provides protection from contamination to the body with the use of a mask, eyeglasses, gloves, and clothing.
Barrier covers prevent contamination of areas that are exposed to aerosols, splatter, or contaminated fingers during patient treatment. If not covered, these same areas would require adequate disinfection after treatment; otherwise, they would be sources of cross-contamination for the next patient. To protect surfaces against contamination by blood or OPIM, use the following disposable materials:
Plastic wrap or bags
Impervious backed paper
These barrier covers (fig. 9-2) can also be used on areas in the dental treatment room (DTR) that are difficult to disinfect, such as light handles, dental control units, switches, headrests, bracket and instrument trays, three-way syringe bases and controls, or X-ray tube heads. Using surface covers as protective barriers has several advantages over disinfecting the surfaces.
Preparation and clean up of the DTR is accomplished with greater efficiency.Continue Reading