Dentistry is a pretty hands-on profession and dentists on an average have to wear dental gloves for 40 hours or more on a weekly basis. It is important for dentists to wear the right kind of gloves which can protect them from infections and also the irritating antiseptic solutions, that are commonly used during dentistry treatments. Gloves were first used in dentistry in the late 1980’s and have become pretty common since then!  Because dentist’s hands come in contact with the patient’s blood and saliva, it is important for dentists to wear dental gloves to prevent cross infection. Wear the right kind of dental gloves can considerably lessen the risk of infections from patients to dentists and vice versa.

What are the different types of dental gloves available in the market?

There are different types of dental gloves available for sale in the market that you can consider. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the different alternatives available in the market, so that you are able to make an informed decision for yourself!

  • Latex gloves: – Latex gloves are actually the most common dental gloves. For many years they were considered the gold standard in dental gloves. If you want something that can be easily put on and taken off, then you should go for the powdered variants of latex gloves. Their major drawback is that they can’t be used by anyone who is sensitive to latex. They also aren’t recommended to be used with certain chemicals. Aside from those two, there are actually a lot of pros of latex dental gloves. They are very affordable since they are made from a renewable resource and have excellent barrier protection!
  • Nitrile gloves: – If you have a latex allergy and need an alternative for latex gloves, then you should probably consider nitrile gloves. They are called ‘medical grade’ because they go through a lot of tests before they allowed for sale in the market. They are highly resistant to punctures and also have excellent durability. Perhaps the only drawback associated with these gloves is that if they are bleached, there are high chances of them tearing quite easily.
  • Vinyl gloves:- If you are looking for gloves that fit you well and are also comfortable to use, then you can check out vinyl dental gloves. They are considered to be a very good alternative to latex gloves, even though they might not be the best fit for surgical procedures. They are the cheapest option available in the market but have less durability and poor puncture resistance.

How to choose the right dental gloves

Now that you know which type of glove (material) you should choose, you need to consider different parameters to choose the right glove for yourself.

  • Glove Size:- The size of the glove is very important and you shouldn’t buy anything which is too loose or too tight. Most dental gloves are available in sizes ranging from XS to XL and you need to figure out the best fit from this range. Anything too large or too small can cause anything from adverse dexterity to hand fatigue, and hence it is important that you get the right fit for yourself.
  • Glove thickness :- You should ideally buy dental gloves which are at least 4 millimetres in thickness. You should easily be able to get them because most gloves are available in the range of 2 millimetres to 8 milometers.
  • AQL :- AQL stands for acceptable quality level and refers to the barrier protection level that the glove in question provides. You should ideally buy dental gloves which have a lower AQL level because that generally signifies that the product is of a higher quality.

The Bottom Line

There you go. Those were the different guidelines and tips, which if followed, which enhance your chances of buying the right dental gloves. You need to wear them once before you buy them to ensure proper fit of the gloves. You also need to inspect them for tears or pinholes, if you want to get the best bang for your buck! Don’t buy gloves that feel weak and once you have bought them it is advised to not keep them near heaters or air conditioners.