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FAQ - Personal Protective Equipment - 2015
 FAQ - Personal Protective Equipment - 2015



Is it required to wear utillty gloves after instruments have gone through the instrument washer? I was told instruments are 99% disinfected after this process. I know there is a difference between disinfected and sterilized, but are utility gloves still needed with disinfected instruments? 

Ask OSAP recommends that you contact the manufacturer of your instrument washer for further information on proper use and handling procedures with their product. Ask OSAP can provide you with some general information regarding utility gloves.

In overview, Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team states as follows:

Operatory Cleanup and Instrument Processing

To provide more protection for the hands during operatory cleanup and handling of instruments than that provided by the thin latex or vinyl patient care gloves or thin copolymer or plastic gloves, one should use utility gloves of nitrile or heavy latex when preparing and using chemicals, precleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces, and handling contaminated items during instrument processing. Each person in the office needing these gloves should have his or her own pair or pairs of gloves. The heavy utility gloves are reusable and can be washed with an antimicrobial handwashing agent, rinsed, and dried. 1

Additionally, the 2003 CDC guidelines for infection control in dentistry states as follows:

To avoid injury from sharp instruments, DHCP should wear puncture resistant, heavy-duty utility gloves when handling or manually cleaning contaminated instruments and devices (6).2


Manufacturers of dental devices and equipment should provide information regarding material compatibility with liquid chemical germicides, whether equipment can be safely immersed for cleaning, and how it should be decontaminated if servicing is required (289). Because of the risks associated

with exposure to chemical disinfectants and contaminated surfaces, DHCP who perform environmental cleaning and disinfection should wear gloves and other PPE to prevent occupational exposure to infectious agents and hazardous chemicals. Chemical- and puncture-resistant utility gloves offer more protection than patient examination gloves when using hazardous chemicals.2


5. Ensure that appropriate gloves in the correct size

are readily accessible (IC) (13).

6. Use appropriate gloves (e.g., puncture- and

chemical-resistant utility gloves) when cleaning

instruments and performing housekeeping tasks

involving contact with blood or OPIM (IB, IC)


7. Consult with glove manufacturers regarding the

chemical compatibility of glove material and

dental materials used (II). 2

A Google search for information regarding the use of utility gloves in dentistry can be accessed at these links:

Use of utility gloves, dentistry  3

Articles on the use of utility gloves, dentistry  4

You should find helpful information and articles in these Google searches.


1)     Miller CH. Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team, 5th edition. Elsevier/Mosby Publishers. Page 109.

2)     Kohn WG, Collins AS, Cleveland JL, Harte JA, Eklund KJ, Malvitz DM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings—2003. MMWR Recomm Rep 2003;52(RR-17):1-61.    Accessed on May 1, 2015.

3) Use of search terms “Use of utility gloves, dentistry”.   Accessed on May 1, 2015.

4) Use of search terms “Articles on the use of utility gloves, dentistry”.   Accessed on May 1, 2015. 


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