The present study was undertaken to explore the factors that influence decisions regarding wearing of gloves in the setting of private general practice. A survey of 250 dentists in Brisbane, Australia (41% of the total private general practitioners in the region), was conducted. Routine use of gloves was commonplace (84.6%); however, many dentists experienced skin problems related to glove use. Years of experience and unsolicited patient comments regarding glove wearing were significantly associated with paterns of glove use, while other factors examined did not exert a significant effect (practice profile, practice location, frequency of treating patients known to have an infectious disease, rate of sharps injuries, choice of glove material, and frequency of adverse mucosal and cutaneous reactions). These results revealed the need for further educational campaigns in practical infection-control measures for all practitioners, regardless of their level of experience. An educational approach used by the authors is described.