a. Inoculations. The dental specialist, the dental officer, and the patient should
have all inoculations up to date. All military dental health care workers must receive the
hepatitis vaccine. It must be offered to all civilian dental health care workers with
b. Surgical Masks.
(1) Team members must wear disposable surgical masks to protect
themselves and the patients from the transmission of respiratory infections. The water
spray of the high-speed handpiece, in combination with the patient's saliva, generates a
contaminated aerosol mist that can transmit disease.
(2) The mask must be changed between patients and more often if the
mask becomes visibly soiled. One hour is considered the maximum effective usage
time of one mask.
c. Protective Glasses.
(1) The dental specialist, the dental officer, and the patient must wear
protective glasses that protect their eyes from hazardous spray or splatter.
(2) Safety glasses (with solid side shields or with chin length face shields) or
goggles must be worn by the dental health care worker (DHCW) whenever splashes,
spray, or splatter are anticipated.
(3) Protective glasses must always be worn by dental health care workers to
deflect fragments of material expelled from the patient's mouth during operation of the
d. Gloves. Dental care personnel must wear gloves during cleaning and
disinfection procedures and during patient care. While gloves provide a barrier to
disease transmission, the most effective barrier is through frequent hand washing.
Gloves must be changed between patients and not washed or disinfected.
e. Gown, Smocks, and Outer Garments.
(1) Hospital scrubs (with long sleeve outer garment available), washable
cloth gowns, smocks, lab coats, and/or disposable gowns are all acceptable for use.
Military duty uniforms or civilian "street clothes" (above the waist) are not to be worn as
outer garments when exposed to blood or OPIM.
(2) The amount and type of coverage depends upon the dental health care
workers anticipation of exposure to blood or OPIM. If the dental health care worker
anticipates the need for extended coverage (such as long sleeves) to prevent exposure
to skin or underclothes, then protective covering must be worn.