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Is it the responsibility of the clinician or the patient to insure that the patient is wearing the protective eyewear handed to the patient at the start of the procedure: namely moving from extraoral exam to intraoral exam and/or moving on to exposing radiographs?

This is a legal liability question. Since laws may vary by state, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney. Ask OSAP is unable to provide legal advice.

Ask OSAP can provide some general information. It should be noted that if the use of a particular piece of equipment requires the use of eye protection by the patient, and it is stated in the manufacturer’s instructions for use (IFU), it is then recommended that the manufacturer’s IFU be followed.

Additionally, Ask OSAP would like to note that Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team states as follows:

The dental team should offer patients eye protection during treatment. Reports of eye damage to patients include impalement of a patient’s eye by an excavator, corneal abrasion from an exploding anesthetic carpule and from a piece of acrylic denture tooth, and subconjunctival hemorrhage after a dentist hit a patient’s eye with his thumb. Instruments and chemicals should not be passed over the head of the patient. If a patient wears prescription eyeglasses, the patient should be allowed to continue to wear them during care; other patients should be provided with eye protection. Disposable eyewear should be provided, or patient eyewear can be decontaminated between uses.1


1) Miller CH. Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team, 5th edition. Elsevier/Mosby Publishers. Page 115.

Last Updated on Thursday, July 08, 2021 04:08 PM