Materials or Cleansers used for Hand Hygiene in Dentistry

Hand Hygiene in Dentistry is very important as the hands need to completely sterile to prevent any cross infection from the hands to the surgical site. Scrubbing of hands means to clean the hands till the forearms and elbows.

Some important things to do before any surgery is – Nails have to be cut short, jewelry like rings, bracelets etc be removed, watches or any threads should be removed as these can be a hub of bacteria or fungus and lead to infection of the surgical site. It is important to wash you hands properly before and after every dental procedure be it small or big as any infection can spread from and to the patient by just a simple 5 seconds contact as well.

hand hygiene in dentistry

How to properly wash hands before any dental procedure

Chlorhexidine Based:

In these agents, 2-4% Chlorohexidine gluconate is used and in case of a detergent solution it contains isopropyl alcohol with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. It is known to cause irritation of the eyes. This solution is useful in cases where the surgical glove leaks or any accidental Needle Stick Injury to the Dentist.

Povidone Iodine:

It consists of 7.5 to 10% povidone-iodine and is most commonly used as a surgical hand scrub and also used to scrub the tissue around the surgical site.

Parachlorometexylenol or PCMX:

This solution is both bactericidal and fungicidal at a concentration of 2%. It is widely recommended for routine use and does not cause any irritation.

Alcohol-based Hand Rinses:

Ethyl Alcohol, Propanol, and Isopropyl alcohol solutions are the most used in regular dental practices at a concentration of 70% to achieve a proper germicidal effect. Alcohol-based hand rinses evaporate and can be used as hand sanitizers as well to apply on the skin to achieve a rapid germicidal effect

How to Wash Hands before a Dental Surgery or Procedure:

1. Remove Gloves if you completed a surgery / Before attending a surgery and putting on gloves.

2. Wet hands with running water.

3. Apply soap and rub to lather well

  • Rub palm to palm
  • Rub the back of both hands
  • Rub palms again with fingers interlaced
  • Rub backs of interlaced fingers
  • Wash the back of thumbs
  • Rib both palms with fingertips
  • Wash your wrists

These steps should be done for 15-30 seconds

4. Rinse the Hands under clean running water until all the soap is gone.

5. Bloat your hands dry with a clean towel.

A Dentists or Surgeons hands although covered by Gloves is the primary part of the body which comes in contact with the surgical site. So it makes it very important for the Dentist and Dental Surgeons to properly wash your hands before and after a procedure to make sure that there is no infection spread to the patient and no infection or disease is spread from the patient to the Dentist.

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