Are sterile gloves necessary in nonsurgical dental extractions?

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2005 Jul;63(7):936-40. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2005.03.008.


Purpose: The aim of the study was to compare the incidence of healing complications of extraction socket with the use of sterile or clean nonsterile gloves during nonsurgical dental extractions.

Material and methods: This was a randomized prospective study conducted at the exodontia clinic of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (Nigeria), between October 2002 and January 2003. Patients who were referred for nonsurgical extractions of permanent teeth and who satisfied the inclusion criteria into the study were randomly allocated into 2 groups. One group had their extractions performed with the surgeon wearing a pair of sterile gloves and the second group had their extractions performed with the surgeon wearing a pair of clean nonsterile gloves. Two hundred sixty-nine patients who had 301 teeth extracted and satisfied the inclusion criteria for socket healing assessment were assessed for postoperative socket healing.

Results: Three different types of socket healing complications were identified (dry socket, acutely inflamed socket, and acutely infected socket). A total of 32 patients (11.9%) developed socket healing complications. Nineteen of 122 patients in the sterile glove group and 13 of 147 patients in the clean nonsterile glove group developed socket healing complications (P = .09).

Conclusion: The study confirmed that the use of sterile surgical gloves offers no advantage over clean nonsterile gloves in minimizing extraction socket healing complications following dental extraction. Therefore, nonsurgical dental extraction can be safely performed with the surgeon wearing clean nonsterile gloves.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dry Socket / etiology*
  • Female
  • Gloves, Surgical*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control, Dental / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sterilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Tooth Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Tooth Socket