Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Explained

The dental world is working on a series of basic protocol that can be used as guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission and protect dentists, patients, staff and family from the outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers protect you from the workplace hazards that can cause injury or illness.

Risk assessment allows the dentist to gauge the patient’s condition and chart out a better treatment plan while choosing the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is to be used in order to carry out the said treatment. Personal Protective equipment that will protect workers, patients, dentists against health and safety risks at work.

Safety is a major issue for day laborers & skilled laborers. The purpose is to reduce exposure to hazards, administrative controls are not feasible or effective to reduce these risks to acceptable levels. Wearing the PPE during the work is individual responsibility, so each person has to take care of their personal protective equipment (PPE).

Therefore, it is crucial for dentists to refine preventive strategies to avoid the COVID-19 infection by focusing on patient placement, hand hygiene and all personal protective equipment (PPE).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the collective term of wearable equipment and gear that’s meant to protect the wearer from hazards. PPE is protective clothing, helmets, safety glasses, goggles, full body suits, respirators, gloves, head cover and safety shoe cover. They all have different functions, but their goal is the same: to protect the wearer from potential health and safety hazards.

Masks:

Surgical masks, also called face masks, are usually made of pleated paper or other non-woven material. They’re worn by surgeons to protect them from any contact with blood, saliva, mucous, and other bodily fluids. These fluids can contain viruses and bacteria that can spread infection; many illnesses can only be spread by direct contact between bodily fluids. They fit loosely and are not designed to filter out the smallest airborne particles.

N95 respirators, another type of mask, must be sized to the wearer so they fit snugly around the mouth and nose. The 95 in the name refers to the fact that they filter out 95% of airborne particles. These masks must meet specifications established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Healthcare workers wear these kinds of masks, or respirators, before treating coronavirus positive patients. Medical professionals are trained in the proper use, removal, cleaning and disposal of these masks. While handling objects/surface potentially contaminated by suspect/confirmed cases of COVID-19 infected person and then touches his own eyes, nose, or mouth, he may get exposed to the virus. wash your hands, don’t touch your face and observe very precise hygiene.

Gloves:

Dental gloves are worn to protect dental care providers from contamination while being in contact with mucous membranes, blood, and saliva.

Goggles & Face Shield:

Face shields & goggles protect clinicians from spray and splatter while also offering a full field of vision. Protective glasses keep debris out of your eyes, and some are even designed specifically to wear while performing procedures with lasers or curing lights.

When it comes to patient protection, tinted glasses help keep the operatory light from burning their eyes during their appointment, and protective glasses can also prevent splatter or dental materials or intraoral fluids from bothering your patients. Microbial infections from contaminated handpiece cooling mists & ultrasonic/air polishing units. These can contain bacteria & bloodborne viruses such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV as well as herpes and rhinoviruses.

Suit or Aprons:

Aprons are considerably easier to put on and for removal. An apron can also be worn over the gown for the entire time the health worker is in the treatment area. Coveralls/gowns have stringent standards such as SITRA that extend from preventing exposure to biologically contaminated solid particles to protecting from chemical hazards.

Shoe Covers:

Shoe covers are used to prevent contamination of the exterior in clean areas of the dental clinics, without having to use specific shoes. These Disposable Shoe Covers are especially useful for use on patients when entering the operating room, since in this way they do not have to take off or change their shoes.

Head Covers:

Head Cover is disposable dental head covers made of polypropylene. The covers are very resistant and provided with elastic bands that let it be properly fixed to the head rest. Dental head covers are easy to dispose of and remove and guarantee a high level of hygiene to the patients.

After all, if a dentist is using proper PPE kit, it is not only for their own safety but also for the safety of the community. Together we can pass through this pandemic.

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