Women dentists' office apparel: dressing for success in an age of infection control

J Law Ethics Dent. 1991;4:95-100.


A questionnaire on office apparel was answered by 928 of the 2000 women dentists surveyed. The most surprising aspect of this study is that only 51% of all the women surveyed feel the need to wear some type of lab coat or uniform for infection control. Women dentists who do wear a lab coat over street clothes do so primarily for the enhancement of their professional image. Women dentists reporting the highest gross incomes were more likely to wear only street clothes (P = .01) in the office. This study suggests that the dichotomy of dressing for success and dressing for infection control is an issue that needs to be addressed by the profession. Guidelines would be especially helpful for the majority of women dentists who are currently in their first years of practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Clothing*
  • Dentists, Women*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Middle Aged
  • Protective Clothing
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires