Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Oral Health and Rehabilitation

Committee Chair

Gettleman, Lawrence


Microbial contamination; Metals--Microbiology; Dentistry--Practice; Rings


CDCIWHO only "recommends" that rings be removed under gloves because of cross-contamination between health care workers and patients. Microbiological samples of oral streptococci beneath rings and between fingers under non-sterile exam gloves were taken before and after dental procedures (before and after washing with antimicrobial soap) from 50 junior/senior dental students. Subjects wore two rings on one hand, with none on the other (control). Rings were worn on the opposite hand at another session. Handedness, glove tears, and leaks, were also measured. There were significant glove tears and leakage in the glove on the dominant hand, especially when wearing rings (experimental). 79.8% of right and 70.5% of left gloves were torn and 70.3% of students used cold water to wash. Wearing rings with/without stones, perforations, or sharp edges under nitrile gloves while performing dental treatment procedures retained oral streptococci even after the post-wash. Wearing rings under gloves should be prohibited.