NOEL BRANDON KELSCH, RDHAP, is a syndicated columnist, writer, speaker, and cartoonist.
She serves on the editorial review committee
for the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and
Prevention newsletter and has received many
national awards. Kelsch owns her dental hygiene practice that focuses on access to care
for all and helps facilitate the Simi Valley Free
Dental Clinic. She has devoted much of her 35
years in dentistry to educating people about
the devastating effects of methamphetamines
and drug use. She is a past president of the
California Dental Hygienists’Association.
1. http:// www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infection-control/faq/ protective_equipment.htm
4. Br Dent J. 2006 Feb 25;200( 4):218-23; discussion 208.
5. Farrier SL, Farrier JN, Gilmour AS. Eye safety in
operative dentistry - a study in general dental
and water, and when visibly soiled, disinfected between patients. 1
It is important to use the proper eyewear.
Reader glasses do not take the place of eyewear that was designed to resist impact. The
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all employers
supply eyewear or face shield protection for
all their employees. Eye protection should
be made of impact-resistant plastic in compliance with ANSI standards. 2 For eyewear
to comply with ANSI standards, side protection must be included in the design and
should not be removed. Also, the eyewear
should be impact-resistant to deflect potential airborne debris — whether hard or soft
— during procedures. 3
It only makes sense that we would offer the same level of protection to our
patients as we do to our employees. This
protection is available at low costs and is
easy to maintain. RDH
We need to make a change. We all
have a responsibility to do no harm.
Please wear proper eye protection, and
insist that your patients do the same.
Simply offering proper eyewear and empowering patients to ask for eyewear can
make a difference.
WHAT KIND OF EYE PROTECTION?
Dental health care personnel should
wear protective eyewear with solid side
shields or a face shield during procedures and during any patient-care activities that are likely to generate splashes
or sprays of blood or body fluids. Protective eyewear protects the mucous membranes of the eyes from contact with
microorganisms. Protective eyewear
for patients also can protect their eyes
from spatter or debris generated during
dental procedures. Reusable protective
eyewear should be cleaned with soap