Protective Eyewear in the Dental Office – Are you keeping your patients safe?

June 27th marks National Sunglasses Day, serving as a timely reminder of the significance of eye protection. This got me thinking about how dental clinicians prioritize wearing eye protection for safety at work, yet many neglect to offer the same protection to their patients.

Despite the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advising patients to wear eye protection during their dental visits, this guideline is not consistently adhered to. (I see this all of the time when I am visiting dental offices for in-office coaching.)

Might I add, from personal experience, and from someone who is not a fan of being in the dental chair, it is super uncomfortable to have a bright light shining in your eyes and water splatter hitting your face and eyes. Even if you keep your eyes closed it’s uncomfortable.

Importance of Eye Protection

Eye protection is a simple yet vital measure that helps to shield patients’ eyes from bright dental lights. More importantly, it demonstrates that we value our patients’ eyesight and are committed to protecting them from potential illness or injury. Patients should be aware that dental treatment creates all kinds of spray and spatter, and the use of numerous instruments throughout treatment can also pose a risk to their eyes.

Providing protective safety glasses/sunglasses for patient use is an easy, effective way to uphold this standard of care. Eyewear should not be presented as an option for the patient but as a necessary part of dental treatment.

Commitment to Sterilization

The sunglasses, protective eyewear, or safety goggles need to be sterilized even if the glasses are not visibly dirty after each use, similar to all your instruments and tools. This practice ensures your patients get clean and safe eye protection during their appointments.

Patient Care and Safety

Making the small gesture of providing safety glasses to patients is a significant step in our overall commitment to patient care, comfort, and safety.

Incorporating these practices into dental care not only aligns with ADA and CDC guidelines but also enhances the overall patient experience. Win-Win

On National Sunglasses Day, let’s take a moment to appreciate the importance of eye protection in all aspects of life, not just in dental offices.

Stay safe and protect your patients’ eyes!

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Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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