Dear Annie: As a registered nurse and a patient who has had many dental procedures, I cringe every time I get into a dentist’s chair. The reason is the overhead light — the one that the hygienist or dentist can adjust and lower. The hygienists and dentists wear gloves, but the gloves protect them, not the patient. They put their gloved hands in patients’ mouths and then reach up and adjust the light as needed, time after time. Their gloved hands transfer bacteria from a patient’s saliva (and sometimes blood) to the light fixture. Then the next patient gets in the chair, and the procedure is repeated.
I don’t see how they can avoid transferring harmful bacteria and viruses from one patient to another unless they clean the light fixture off between every patient. I hope I’m wrong, but I have never seen or heard of this being done.