While not prohibited, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that dental personnel with direct contact with patients refrain from wearing artificial nails, keeping natural nail tips to no longer than ¼ inch in length. Artificial nails have been implicated in multiple outbreaks involving fungal and bacterial infections in hospital intensive-care units and operating rooms. Keeping natural nails trimmed and groomed is essential because (1) the majority of microorganisms on the hands are found under and around the fingernails, and (2) sharp nail edges or broken nails are likely to interfere with glove fit and glove integrity, increasing glove failure.
Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.