Why Do Dentists… Make Me Wear Glasses?
Most people will have had the experience of the chair side assistant or dentist handing them a pair of glasses and asking them to put them on while the chair reclines or just prior to treatment starting. More often than not, the glasses are tinted, so it would be reasonable to assume that they have been offered to counteract the glare of the overhead light, which can be pretty bright.
If the glasses are particularly darkly tinted, you might also think they are there to act a little like blinkers, to make it harder to see what’s going on. If you usually close your eyes during treatment, this conclusion about the purpose of glasses might seem very logical.
In fact, the glasses offered to you at the dentist are provided for your safety, to protect your eyes from liquids or particles that could splash or drop into your eyes during dental procedures. Your dental team wear glasses for the same reason.
If something splashes or drops into your eyes it has the potential of, at least, causing you discomfort, surprise or distress or at worst, causing damage to your eye. Some of the liquids used in dentistry are acidic or are strong alkalines, like bleach which could obviously do a lot of damage to the soft tissues of the eye. If your dental treatment involves cutting out an old filling or even removing the built up tarter on your teeth, particles of filling material or tartar can escape the high-volume suction and have the potential of lodging into the eye and scratching it.
Glasses will also protect your eyes from the instruments and equipment that the dental team are holding: whilst they are always careful with the placement of these instruments, an unexpected movement (for example, if you turn suddenly or sneeze) has the potential of bringing your eyes into contact.
Like all of the instruments used by your dental team, glasses are thoroughly decontaminated following strict guidelines after every use. This prevents transfer of potentially infectious material from one patient to another.
If you have any questions about the glasses you are asked to wear at your appointments, or wish to know more about how your dental team works to keep you comfortable and safe during treatment, please ask any member of the Corinna Dental team and we’ll be glad to explain!