Dental barriers are tools that help to prevent the spread of infection across high-touch surfaces. Dental barriers comprise a self-adhesive plastic film that provides a physical barrier and prevents the flow of germs, fluids and other pathogens.
These barriers are a significant component of the dental hygiene workflow and are crucial for operatory asepsis. They are usually found in dental and medical offices and guard the equipment and other hard-to-clean areas. They contain a protective coating on one side with an adhesive surface so they will stick in place, but they can also be removed easily without leaving any residue behind. Disposable dental barriers offer many advantages and are necessary in order to control the risk of contamination.
Benefits That Dental Barriers Offer:
Here are some of the most common benefits of dental barriers that make them a necessity in dental offices.
1. Reduce the Risk of Contamination:
Dental barriers simply form an effective barrier between the oral cavity of patients and the operative field, either through direct contact or aerosolization from high-speed instruments.
In this way, these barriers reduce patients’ risk of aspirating or ingesting harmful foreign particles. Moreover, after knowing that a protective barrier is in place, patients may also feel relaxed, which also helps minimize their discomfort and gag reflexes.
2. Increase Efficiency:
The primary purpose of surface barriers is to prevent contamination and reduce the need to clean and disinfect equipment before reuse. Their usage is the most efficient way to protect hard-to-clean and smaller surfaces. Furthermore, by enabling unobstructed operative field access and visibility, these barrier films also allow dental professionals to work more conveniently and efficiently.
3. Improve Access:
By retracting and isolating teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue, dental barriers eliminate visual obstructions and effectively improve access during treatment and provide operative visibility. In addition to that, they also help prevent dental mirrors from fogging.
4. Offer Better Results:
Many types of dental restorative equipment are affected by the moisture in saliva. Therefore, these barrier films are highly recommended. Dental barriers provide an uncontaminated and moisture-free environment that allows smooth treatment procedures, ensuring better restoration results.
5. Reduce the Usage of Chemicals:
The plastic film present on these barrier films offers a physical barrier by preventing the access of harmful fluids from reaching the surface. In this way, dental barriers also help reduce the usage of chemicals in order to clean the surface again and again, which might also increase your equipment’s longevity.
Choosing The Right Dental Barrier:
Dental barriers come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses, and colors, as well as they also differ in their latex and non-latex materials. However, the most important things to consider before choosing dental barriers are:
- Chemical Tolerance
- Latex Content
Tear strength is another critical component to ensure that a dental barrier can be stretched over teeth without getting ripped, even when pierced with a dental punch. The material used in the fabrication of these barriers must also be able to withstand the chemical compounds utilized in various dental procedures. However, barriers made with latex-free material are usually preferred because many patients and dental professionals have a latex allergy or sensitivity.
The Procedure For Using Dental Barriers:
Barriers are typically applied before the initiation of any dental procedure so that the surfaces do not get the chance to become contaminated. They are placed on clean surfaces. However, if the surfaces are already contaminated, pre-clean and disinfect them with the help of a water-based disinfectant.
Then, remove gloves, wash and place a fresh surface cover. Ensure that surfaces are entirely dry before placing these dental barriers. Placing barrier films on dry surfaces will minimize the risk of material breakdown, corrosion, and surface discoloration.
How To Use Dental Barrier Film?
- Open the box of dental barrier film.
- Look if the box has a roll where the barrier film can be attached to.
- Find an opening in the barrier film box.
- Then, open the dental barrier to release the sheet from the roll.
- Take the film sheets out of the box and put them through the opening.
- Then release these film sheets from the roll. Another dental barrier film sheet then comes through the opening. This enables easy access to dental barrier film and provides convenience.
- Lastly, make sure to completely clean the surface before placing these adhesive films on it so they can stick properly.
Does Barrier Film Leave a Residue?
Dental barrier films usually do not leave any residue. The dental barrier films are specifically designed to provide adhesiveness to stick to surfaces but are not sticky enough to leave any residue after these film sheets are removed. However, if your dental barrier sheets are difficult to remove or leave a certain adhesive on the surface after removal, then you should look for an alternative barrier film that will not damage your surfaces with unwanted sticky residue.
Moreover, it is important to ensure to purchase the highest quality barrier film. Because some of the lower-quality barrier films usually have an adhesive that is quite sticky and leaves residue on surfaces. Some low-priced films also have an adhesive that is not sticky enough and cannot stay on the surfaces for a long while. Both of these situations can be prevented if you look for high-quality dental barrier films.
How Do Dental Barriers Form a Protective Layer Against Bodily Fluids?
Depending on the type of medical or dental procedures, these barrier films can prove to be extremely effective at keeping fluids from entering into an incision or an open wound and contaminating it. Moreover, because of being sterile and non-cytotoxic, these films do not affect the skin and will not impact a healing wound, even if bodily fluids penetrate it.
Additionally, these barriers are alcohol-free, which makes them virtually painless for patients when applied to irritated or damaged skin. This also makes these barrier films an ideal material to use against the transfusion of fluids. In a nutshell, these barrier films prove to be extremely effective in reducing the risk of contamination and help in performing dental treatment processes smoothly.