This section of the dictionary lists several objects treated as disposables, as opposed to the rest of the medical instruments which are sterilized and used again and again. Disposables can significantly improve the workflow in the dental office, by reducing preparation time before and after treating each patient, as well as by reducing the risks of contamination into negligible parameters.
Evacuator tips for vacuum & saliva ejectors are flexible, bendable tubes, made from plastic. These disposables are often used when dental procedures require that the patient keeps his mouth wide open for a longer time, both for the comfort of the patient and for the success of the treatment, by maintaining the working area dry. Some saliva vacuums also come with special extra features such as tongue retractors and chin holders. Your dentist may use the vacuum to collect substances used during the treatment in order to avoid prolonged contact of these substances in the mouth.
Bite blocks and cheek retractors are devices that block involuntary biting and keep the cheeks away from the working area, to ensure optimum access. Separating the working area is now a quite frequent procedure.
Disposable dental bibs are large napkins placed on the patient’s chest and tied behind the neck, to protect his or her clothes from accidental spillage of liquids such as saliva, water, etc. and substances used during dental treatments.
Examination gloves are elastic, disposable gloves, usually made of latex, vinyl or nitrile, meant to ensure hygiene and avoid contamination for both the patient and the dentist. They belong to the same category of dental disposables as medical face masks, disposable scrubs, and patient drinking cups. All these holdings do not stop the viruses, but they do offer some extra hygiene and safety, which are always welcomed.
Disposable full chair covers are not primarily meant to protect the furniture, but to avoid contamination from one patient to another. Saliva and other liquids that may accidentally reach on the chair are thus removed with a simple gesture.
Cotton rolls are sterile and absorbent cylinders used to keep the working area relatively dry. They are handled with special cotton pliers for hygiene reasons.
Replaceable dental brush heads can be attached on a permanent holder and are used during in-office dental cleaning procedures.