Can Dental Assistants Have Tattoos?

This blog post will address the topic, “can dental assistants have tattoos” and cover topics like what research says on the perceptions of consumers and others on dental assistants having tattoos, common tattoo & piercing policies for dental professionals, developing a tattoo & piercing policy for your dental practice and about acceptability of tattoos and piercings in the dental workplace.

Can Dental Assistants Have Tattoos?

Tattoos have now become very popular and mainstream. However, if a dental professional such as dental assistants can have tattoos or not depends on the workplace and its policies.

Some dental workplaces may allow tattoos as long as it is hidden while some may allow only if the tattoos are not vulgar and as long as it doesn’t hurt any religious sentiments.

There may be a few dental offices that allow dental professionals such as dental assistants to have tattoos without any restrictions.

So if a dental assistant can have tattoos or not, depends on their workplace policies and rules.

Perceptions Regarding Visible Tattoos On Service Personnel: What Research Says?

According to a study, visible tattoos on professionals were perceived as inappropriate.

The study reported that older people perceived white collar professionals with visible tattoos as less intelligent and less honest.

Study results published in the Journal Of Dental Hygiene showed visible tattoos to be perceived as unprofessional. The study reported that 97% of the respondents from a dental hygiene program favoured tattoos to be not visible in the workplace.

Tattoo Policies for Dental Professionals

Policies for tattoos may be different depending on the workplace or the dental practice.

However, some of the common points included in most of the policies regarding tattoos may be:

  • Tattoos must not be on the visible parts of the body like hands, face and neck.
  • Tattoos must not offend anyone or any community
  • Tattoos must not offend anyone’s religious sentiments
  • No vulgar tattoos 

If allowed, visible tattoos might have a number limit. In a few dental offices, tattoos might be strictly prohibited.

Developing a Tattoo & Piercing Policy for Your Dental Practice

It is important for your dental practice to have a tattoo and piercing policy.

If you already have a tattoo and piercing policy, it might need some modification and refreshment.

Consider these tips in mind while developing a tattoo and piercing policy for your dental practice:

How Your Patients Might Perceive Tattoos On Professionals Working At Your Workplace?

It is reported that many people do not prefer professionals with a visible tattoo.

So if you do not want your patients to perceive your clinic or practice as unprofessional, frame a policy disallowing visible tattoos. 

You can also conduct fresh research regarding your customer perceptions of visible tattoos on dental assistants, dentists and hygienists and then frame policies accordingly.

How You Want Your Dental Practice To Look: Professional or Friendly And Cool?

It is up to you to decide whether you want your dental practice to look absolutely professional or you want your dental practice to give a more friendly, cool and relaxed vibe.

If you want to give your dental workplace a cool, relaxed and open minded look, you can allow appropriate, non-offensive and non-vulgar visible tattoos.

You may also limit the number of visible tattoos a dental professional like dental assistants can have.

A Hard-Line Policy Or Not?

A hard-line policy may affect your hiring and you may end up with a less talented workforce as today most of the young and hard working professionals prefer tattoos.

So you must be very careful and cautious while framing a tattoo and piercing policy.

Written Policy 

After deciding on what you want and how you want patients to perceive your practice, writing the final policy is important.

The written policy must be sent for signatures to all the employees with a consent that they have read and understood the policy guidelines and will willingly follow them without any force.

Do Dental Workplaces Allow Tattoos?

It depends on the dental practice and may vary from practice to practice.

Some dental workplaces may allow tattoos as long as it is hidden while some may allow only if the tattoos are not vulgar and as long as it doesn’t hurt any religious sentiments.

There may be a few dental offices that allow dental professionals such as dental assistants to have tattoos without any restrictions.

Ideal Checklist For Appearance Of Dental Professionals Including Dental Assistants In Dental Practice

  • Clean and Professional Appearance is a must for dental professionals including dental assistants.
  • Footwear should be suitable for the workplace and one cannot wear the workplace footwear outside of the workplace.
  • Travel to the office in your own clothes and office clothes must only be worn inside the office to keep it clean and tidy.
  • No Jewellery or any wearings in the surgery ward
  • Hair colours needs approval of the practice
  • No open long hairs. Tie the long hairs at the back
  • Clothings should be professional and should cover the body parts
  • Visible tattoos and piercings needs approval of the practice
  • Short nails and no artificial fingernails in the clinical ward
  • Rings , watches and any wearables must be removed before any clinical procedures
  • Clinical uniform must have a tunic, scrub, shoes with closed toes and badge with your name
  • Religious head wear can be worn and is not prohibited

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the topic, “can dental assistants have tattoos”. We understood what research says on the perceptions of consumers and others on dental assistants having tattoos, common tattoo & piercing policies for dental professionals. The article outlined ways to develop a tattoo & piercing policy for your dental practice and about acceptability of tattoos and piercings in the dental workplace.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Can Dental Assistants Have Tattoos

Can Dental Assistants Wear Long Sleeves?

Dental assistants can or cannot wear long sleeves depending on their dental workplace policies regarding the sleeves and dress code.

Many dental workplaces do not allow dental assistants to wear long sleeves and neither can they wear jewellery and visible tattoos and piercings.

Can Dental Nurses Wear Earrings?

Yes, dental nurses can wear earrings but they must be small studs and only one pair is advisable.

However, wearing jewellery in the clinical area and during clinical procedures is not recommended as it can be hazardous.

Wearing earrings by the dental nurses may or may not be allowed depending on their dental practice workplace.

Can Dental Assistants Wear Jewelry?

No, dental assistants in most of the dental workplaces are not allowed to wear jewelry during surgical procedures and or in the clinical area.

Do Dental Assistants Wear Scrubs?

Yes, dental assistants wear scrubs.

In fact, scrubs can be worn by all dental professionals including dental assistants, dentists and dental hygienists as they are easy to clean and comfortable to wear throughout the work schedule.

Are Dental Nurses Allowed Eyelash Extensions?

Eyelash extensions are allowed for dental nurses.There is no restriction over eyelash extensions as they don’t interfere with any practical work of the dental nurse and also no potential hazards have been reported.

References:

Dean, D. H. (2010). Consumer perceptions of visible tattoos on service personnel. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal.

Tolle, S. L., McCombs, G. B., & Arndt, A. (2018). A Study of Visible Tattoos in Entry-Level Dental Hygiene Education Programs. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 92(1).

DENTAL ASSISTANTS: ARE TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS EVER OK? (2017)

https://www.dentalassistantlife.org/dental-assistants-tattoos-piercings-ever-ok/

Tattoos in the Dental Office. (2021)

Are tattoos appropriate in dentistry? (2015)

Staff Appearance. (2017)

https://training.isopharm.co.uk/blog/staff-appearance/

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