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      The integrity of latex gloves in clinical dental practice.


      Dental Care, Equipment Failure, Gloves, Protective, microbiology, standards, Humans, Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional, Latex, Quality Control

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          The aim of the study was to assess the integrity of non-sterile latex gloves (Biogel Diagnostic (A), Biogel Dental (B), Gentle Skin (C) and Manufix (D)) in clinical dental practice. After use, the gloves were collected and examined for perforations using the water inflation test according to the EN 455-1 Standard. Over a 12-month period 847 used gloves were collected and assessed. The mean duration of use for gloves A/B/C/D was 175/112/78/79 min respectively. In spite of these differences favoring gloves C and D, 16% of glove A, 14% of glove B, 21% of glove C and 29% of glove D were found to leak. The proportion of perforated gloves increased slightly if a hygienic handrub using an alcoholic hand disinfectant had been carried out immediately prior to gloving. The results indicate striking differences between the quality of medical gloves. As all the gloves comply with the European regulations in terms of integrity, it is very difficult for the user to distinguish between gloves of superior or inferior quality. In a clinical setting it is therefore recommended that the appropriate glove should be determined for each situation. Hands must be thoroughly dry if they are disinfected prior to gloving, since hands still wet with alcoholic disinfectant may increase the risk of glove perforation.

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