“All those dirty patients!”

When I went to the dentist’s office recently for a routine cleaning, I started to wonder, so I asked. You know how the dentist and the dental assistants wear the surgical mask when they clean your teeth? Well, I questioned the lady who cleaned my teeth on something – do you wear the mask to protect us from you, or yourself from us? After I better explained that question (she wasn’t quite following), she explained that OSHA is the one who made the surgical mask requirement. And thus they wear it in order to protect themselves from those dirty patients… and the only way to find out is to ask.

Date posted: June 29, 2000