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Armed to the teeth: Ansell's quick guide to dental gloves

Supplier: Ansell Healthcare
08 October, 2012

No single safety glove provides the perfect solution for all dental applications.

It can be difficult to know which dental glove material is appropriate, as each offers unique characteristics.

The main safety gloves materials available to dental professionals are:

Natural rubber latex

Natural rubber latex is the dental infection barrier material of first choice.


  • Cross-linked polymeric material has excellent strength and can stretch to many times its original length without creating holes or breaches.
  • Always returns to its original shape.
  • Superior comfort and fit compared to other materials.
  • Natural rubber latex is highly resistant to punctures and tends to seal itself if a small hole occurs.
  • Advantages in strength, ease of donning, tactile properties, dexterity, wet/dry grip and broad chemical resistance.

Ansell Micro-Touch DentaGlove: Powder-free, natural rubber latex dental examination gloves specially textured for good dry and wet grip, with beaded cuff. Five sizes available: XS to XL.


Preferred protection for users with allergies and sensitive skin.


  • Strong resistance to many chemicals and solvents.
  • Neoprene is a petroleum-based, cross-linked film with infection barrier protection similar to latex.
  • Strong and somewhat puncture resistant, but once punctured tends to tear easily.
  • Retains original shape, making it comfortable to wear.

Ansell Micro-Touch Affinity:  For dental healthcare professionals with allergies and sensitive skin.  The powder-free neoprene dental examination glove is also textured for better grip and comes with a beaded cuff. Five sizes available: XS to XL.

A cost-effective way of managing latex allergy

  • Nitrile puncture resistance is superior to latex and other dental glove films, but is not as flexible as natural rubber latex or neoprene.
  • Ideal for high strength tasks and chemical resistance, specially against many harsh solvents.
  • Usually conforms to the shape of the wearer after a few minutes, providing improved comfort and fit.
  • Users tend to choose a larger size because the fit is slightly tighter/ less elastic than latex dental gloves.

Ansell Micro-Touch NitraTex:   Powder-free nitrile dental gloves recommended for when a synthetic option is required or high strength and chemical protection is needed. Also textured for better grip, with beaded cuff. Available in two different lengths: regular (240cm) and long-cuff  (280cm). Four sizes available: S-XL.


Vinyl or PVC is the weakest of the dental gloves film. It can break easily and be punctured by sharp objects.

  • Limited elasticity limits the use for many users. Can be uncomfortable to wear and has less dexterity.
  • While it may be the cheapest material, vinyl gloves can compromise infectious barrier protection.

NO DEAL: Ansell does not offer any vinyl gloves for healthcare professionals, due mainly to its susceptibility to tears, breakage and pinholes. Ansell strongly believes this material should not be used where contact is likely with blood, saliva and other potentially infectious body fluids.