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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 342-347

Thickness, permeability and tactile perception of commercial latex examination gloves used in dental practice

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Aurobindo College of Dentistry, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Shilpa Ashish Warhekar
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Aurobindo College of Dentistry, Indore - Ujjain State Highway, Near MR 10 Crossing, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.165314

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Introduction: Dentists are at an increased risk of being infected. Some patients may be unaware of their infected status while some patients are unwilling to tell the dentists their disease status. Gloves should be worn in almost all patient procedures. Aim: To assess association between thickness, tactile perception, and permeability of commercial latex examination gloves used in dental practice. Materials and Methods: The experimental study was conducted in Central India. A total of 600 gloves, 120 each from five brands (Kaltex, Nulife, Smartcare, Handshield, Medi-image) were used. Thickness was measured using stereomicroscope. Permeability to fluids was evaluated through 0.2% erythrosine dye. Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC-25923) was used to check for microbial permeability. Tactile sensibility was assessed by 2-point discriminator test using 2-point-calipers on 30 volunteers. Chi-square test and Binary logistic regression analysis were used. Results: Mean thickness of gloves was 0.1333 (range: 0.1028-0.1799). Dye and microbial test showed 10.6% and 43.3% permeability of gloves, respectively. No significant difference was observed among brands. Thicker gloves (0.1285-0.1542) yielded lower touch sensibility (odds ratio: 0.783, P < 0.05). Decrease in tactility was recorded in 78.6% of volunteers with gloves compared to no gloves. Conclusion: Considerable microbial permeability suggests commercial examination gloves are unsafe. Balance between thickness, permeability and touch sensation should be established to decrease permeability maintaining same touch sensibility.

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