The Importance of Using Eye Safety Protection at the Dentist

EYE SAFETY IN THE DENTAL CHAIR

Boynton Beach dentist Dr. Jamie J. Alexander advocates the wearing of protective sunglasses while you are in the dental chair. You will always be handed protective glasses when you visit our dental practice unless you bring and prefer to wear your own. The sunglasses we lend you are of durable plastic and of the size to shield your eyes well.

“The reason why we want you to wear protective sunglasses is four-fold,” says Dr. Alexander, “to eliminate the risk of your eyes being splashed or touched during dental procedures, to avoid having to clean your eyes and receive medical attention if an accident were to occur”.

Although it is a rare occurrence in dental offices, unprotected eyes can be injured or splashed during dental procedures. A recently reported case in the news is of a woman who lost her eyesight due to bacterial infection after the eye was punctured by a dropped syringe.

Read more about this incident here.

While a circumstance such as that is exceedingly rare, everyday dental procedures do produce spray. For example, while using high-speed dental tools to remove decay and old filling materials, small particles can be projected at high speeds. When the hygienist is polishing your teeth, prophy paste containing silica can fly about. During a root canal procedure, if infected material coming from the abscessed tooth were to splash in your eye, the eye could become infected.

Not only do we put patient safety at the top of our priority list, but we also want you to always have a positive dental experience If your eye is injured or splashed in the dental operatory, the safety protocol is to rush you to our eye wash station to wash out the eye and then send you to the eye doctor. We know you would not want to have your dental procedure interrupted and go through this added stress for an emergency eye appointment.

We hope you understand and allow us to be attentive to details such as eye protection every time you come in. The glasses we lend you are always sterilized between patients just like all of our instruments and tools.

The American Dental Association (www.ada.org) and Centers for Disease Control and Protection (www.cdc.gov) continuously evaluate current infection control practices. The unique nature of many dental procedures, instruments, and patient care settings also may require specific strategies directed to preventing pathogen transmission among dental health care personnel and their patients. CDC’s evidence-based recommendations guide infection control practices in dental offices nationally and globally; provide direction for the public, dental health care personnel and policymakers; and affect technology development in the dental industry. Recommended infection control practices are applicable to all settings in which dental treatment is provided.

A CDC publication on the expectations dental patients can have for Safe Care is available as a PDF download here.