The work at a dental clinic implies getting in contact with different chemical substances, which may cause temporary or permanent injury to the staff, primarily allergic reactions, but also local irritation, carcinogenic or toxic effects. Dentists and dental assistants belong to the professional groups most frequently experiencing work-related eczema. The chemical substances may originate from dental materials, such as mercury from amalgam and monomers from resin based materials. The substances may be released during preparation, polishing and removal of restorations. In addition, different biocides/chemical disinfectants are used for both clinical an infection control purposes. Finally, medical gloves contain allergenic latex protein and rubber chemicals and may cause irritant eczema.
Basically, damages can be prevented by substitution of hazardous substances, the choice of approved products, compliance with set threshold limits and thorough planning of the work considering health aspects including the preparation of local guidelines. As development of injury follows either direct contact or inhalation of chemical substances, the damage can be prevented by measures such as the use of «no touch technique», high-volume evacuation reducing spatter and aerosol formation and proper use of personal protective equipment in the form of protective gloves and eyewear and surgical masks.
Kemiske stoffers skadevirkninger på tandklinikker. En oversiktsartikkel.
Larsen T, Samuelsen JT, Johansen JD
Nor Tannlegeforen Tid. 2018; 128: 90-5