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Proper Barriers Protect Patients

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PROPER BARRIERS PROTECT PATIENTS

Reduce the risk of cross-contamination

In dentistry, it’s long been standard practice to carefully clean and disinfect the examination rooms. From instrument sterilization to the use of barriers and PPE, strict measures have been in place for years to keep the operatory free of the risk of infection. But now, in light of current events, every tool and procedure must be scrutinized even further. The new era we live and practice in requires us to ask whether we're doing enough for infection prevention, and if there is something more we can do to protect our patients.

One area that deserves deeper consideration involves the barriers used to cover equipment such as intraoral sensors, which are considered semicritical infection control devices because they make contact with mucous membranes. The threat of barrier perforation and cross-contamination should be a top concern among dental professionals.

steri-shield elastic coversThe Results Are In

A study conducted by J.W. Choi examining the perforation rate of intraoral barriers for direct digital radiography focused on 4 types of low-dentistry polyethylene barriers with varying thickness levels, as well as a latex finger cot. The study demonstrated that while thickness and the use of a double barrier influenced the perforation rate—which ranged from 22% to 58%—the risk of contamination could not be completely eliminated. However, the results did reveal that the use of a latex finger cot significantly reduced the leakage rate, showing that latex provides increased protection compared to heat-sealed barriers. The study can be accessed at https://cutt.ly/barriers.

Latex radiological sensor barriers, such as Steri-Shield’s R.S. Barrier, provide a snug, elastic cover that is easy to put on and take off. Unlike heat-sealed materials, latex barriers have no seams or micro-holes, helping to prevent leakage and ensure greater infection control. The R.S. Barrier, also available in nonlatex, fits all sensor sizes and helps to pad sensor edges for patient comfort.

Visit steri-shield.com/products/barriers to view Steri-Shield’s complete line of barriers.

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