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One clinician’s background in fashion helped launch ProtectAll PPE during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for the dental industry regarding infection control protocols. We should have been more vigilant in the past, and we need better protection now and in the future.
When we reopened following last year’s 6-week COVID-19 shutdown, we, like many other dental offices, had to completely rethink safety protocols. At that time, we were facing a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) gowns, masks, and gloves. How to safely provide dental care to our patients was a huge challenge for all dentists across the country.
We realized wearing a more protective gown when seeing patients has become a necessity for the future of dentistry. The question was: What kind of gown would meet this need? Does the gown need to be single-use disposable or are there protective reusable gowns available? The severe shortage of PPE gowns was particularly problematic. Given the contagiousness of COVID-19, simple scrubs will never be adequate again.
Fortunately, I have a clothing design background. I decided to design and make PPE gowns for use in my practice. These gowns were designed for use by dentists, hygienists, and assistants in daily practice. We have been using these same gowns and caps since June 2020. My staff, my patients, and many of my dental and medical colleagues highly praise the PPE we wear in the office. They comment on the gowns’ protectiveness for staff and patients as well as the convenience and comfort. I found a manufacturer to produce these gowns in greater numbers, and now we are sharing them with colleagues in our area via our ProtectAll PPE brand.
When designing my ideal gown, I made sure to combine the protection working in a dental practice demands with the comfort clinicians want. The gowns we now produce include the following features.
After creating these gowns and using them in my office since June 2020, we can operate at a similar pre–COVID-19 speed for patient visits with vastly improved infection control. Most importantly, our patients have spoken highly about the infection control protocols we have put in place, including our strict adherence to wearing these gowns and disinfecting ourselves between patients.