Through personal experience in Dental Practice, as well as extensive evidence-based research, we have identified The Bottom Gap as a potential entry route for harmful debris generated from dental procedures, which may enter the dental provider's eyes.
OSHA eye safety standard 1910.133(a)(1) requires the use of appropriate eye protection. Our research has demonstrated that appropriate eye protection cannot be achieved without closing the bottom gap.
In 2017 our research was recognized by The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) and was awarded the James Cottone Award for Excellence in Investigative Research. Our findings have been further recognized by the dental community as an improvement to current eye safety practices.
Below are selected resources with more information on our findings.
... changed and redefined the OSHA eye safety standard (1910.133 a) for dentistry through their evidence based research in eye safety in dentistry and bottom gap exposure protection recommendations. Their publications and presentations have been recognized by the OSAP, ADA, NIOSH and OSHA as an improvement to the current eye safety standards in the health care industry.
The 10th James Cottone Award for Excellence in Investigative Research for work in eye safety in dentistry and bottom-gap exposure protection recommendations. Their publications and presentations have been recognized by OSAP, the ADA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for improving the current eye safety standards in the healthcare industry.
July 13, 2017
Infrequently, dentists wear masks fitted with a full-face transparent shield. This is particularly desirable when the dental procedure generates excessive splash of blood and other fluids and particulates. Masks with a full-face shield provide the most effective facial and eye protection against such safety hazards. However, their use by dental practitioners is limited due to their higher cost, reflective glare, fogging, optical distortion caused by the unavoidable curvature of the face shield when the mask is worn, hotness of the air in the zone between the face shield and the wearer’s face, wobbliness of the face shield, and inconvenience and discomfort associated with their use.
Eye Safety in Dentistry and Associated Liability
Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society — Winter 2016
By their nature, dental procedures involving drilling at very high speeds (180,000 rpm to 500,000 rpm) generate debris traveling at speeds of up to 50 mph. Such debris includes pieces of amalgam, tooth enamel, calculus, pumice, and broken dental burs along with blood-borne pathogens. In the absence of protective means, such debris may find its way to the eyes of the dental practitioner or dental assistant.
Eye Safety In Dentistry
April 15, 2015