ADAA View Course

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Basics for Dental Assistants (AGD 130)

Presenter: Gaylene Baker RDH, MBA
Revised by: Janice Lewis, MHA, BSHA, AAHCA, RDA, EFDA


Adults breathe an average of more than 17,000 times per day and face masks provide one of our most effective modes of defense against harmful irritants.  Masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles protect both the patient and the Dental Health Care Professional (DCHP) from a variety of potential blood borne and inhalation hazards. This course provides a review of the clinical considerations regarding the appropriate selection and use of masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles in various dental practice settings.  The types and designs of masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles available today will be reviewed, accompanied by a discussion of the relevant regulations and professional recommendations for use. 


Gaylene Baker RDH, MBA graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene, and from Aurora University with her MBA specializing in Marketing. She is a member of the ADHA, AADH, and AAOSH, as well as a member of the ADAA. Over the course of her career she has worked in a variety of private practice settings. Currently Gaylene is employed by Crosstex International as the Midwest Sales Consultant.

Janice Lewis, MHA, BSHA, AAHCA, RDA, EFDA has been teaching dental assisting for Pima Medical Institute, Houston, Texas for the last 10 years. She worked for 30 years as an expanded functions dental assistant as a civilian worker for the federal government, which she is now retired. She received her Master's Degree through the University of Phoenix.


Upon completion of this course the participant should be able to do the following:
• Discuss the chain of infection.
• Describe the differences in the ASTM standards for face masks.
• Articulate the differences between fluid resistance, filtration properties and breathability.
• Discuss the standard precautions on face masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles.
• Explain the CDC guidelines for use of face masks, gloves, goggles, and gowns in a dental setting.
• Identify the appropriate way to wear, and indications for changing face masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles.
• Recognize the dangers of aerosols and identify appropriate precautions.
• Compare and contrast the differences between surgical face masks and respirators.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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