How to Correctly Choose Gloves for a Dental Office

Oct 16th 2016

Gloves for dentists are an important and vital aspect of their dental practice. They protect the dentist from bloodborne illnesses, infections, and cross-contamination, along with offering the same protection to the patient. While latex gloves were once the standard for dentists, the newest star of dental offices is disposable nitrile gloves. They offer a supreme level of protection, better puncture protection, and a lower friction aspect for easier donning and doffing.

Latex or Nitrile: Important Choices

Latex gloves are traditionally the first choice for dental offices. They’re biodegradable, have an elevated level of sensitivity, and are highly elastic so they fit like a second skin. Unfortunately, latex allergies are becoming more and more common and since dentists are touching delicate facial features such a cheeks, lips, and chins, a patient can have a reaction quickly. Dentists and dental hygienists can also struggle with latex allergies, making the use of latex gloves hugely detrimental to their practice. While cost-effective, it is also extremely hard to detect punctures and small tears in latex gloves, which can be dangerous to both the dentist and the patient. Latex also has limited chemical protection and can break down easily. Latex gloves are a terrific choice for some professions, but aren’t necessarily the best product for dentists due to the risk factors.

Disposable nitrile gloves are synthetically made and have a wider range of uses. These gloves are excellent for a dental office because they stand up to many solvents, chemicals, and are a better choice for patients and dental professionals with latex allergies. Probably the most stand-out feature of these gloves is that it is more obvious when a tear or puncture is made, protecting everyone involved. Another dynamic aspect of these synthetically made gloves is that they are required go through a series of tests by the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed as medical grade. Unlike latex, the synthetic nature of these gloves allows them to have a much longer shelf life than their natural rubber counterpart. Disposable nitrile gloves are also available in a wide array of colors so they can be customized to a dental office’s decor and color pallette.

Powder vs. Powder-Free Options

Traditionally, latex gloves have always been powdered to allow the ease of donning the gloves along with keeping the gloves separated when packaged. Latex can bond to itself in heated or humid conditions and the powder acts as a barrier to that. Yet again, patients can have allergies to the powder and while the gloves aren’t coated with the powder on the outside, trace amounts can be found on the gloves causing allergies and reactions. Some nitrile gloves can be coated in a powder, but with the recent upsurge in powder allergies, powder is becoming a less effective option for everyone involved. Disposable nitrile gloves are now coated in a polymer solution that is odor and color free, making the gloves smooth and easy to don, along with cutting out allergic reactions to the powder altogether. This is an superb upgrade for dental offices because with the heavy use of gloves, ease of donning and doffing can make the exam run more smoothly and effortlessly, and patients and dental professionals alike can relax in the knowledge that they don’t have to worry about having a reaction to latex gloves or the powder coating them.

Color-Coded Gloves

Glove color can actually be extremely important to a dentist office. For lab tests and other instances where it is imperative to keep substances apart for fear of cross contamination, glove color can differentiate what is being worked with and can help alert employees to take certain precautions. Double gloving with different colors, usually with one light and one dark, can add another layer of protection and can help to reveal punctures and tears quickly and obviously. Dental offices also can color coordinate their gloves with their scrubs and also more specifically, to their exam rooms to help hygienists and employees stay even more organized. offers a wide choice of colors and sizes to supply your dental office with a versatile selection of gloves for every aspect of your business.

Disposable nitrile gloves are an outstanding choice for dental offices because of their wide array of uses and latex-free chemical makeup. offers a premium assortment of colors, sizes, and varying levels of thickness and length, making it easy and simple for the dental professional to accurately select what is exactly needed for his/her practice.