A roundup of some of the best PPE on the market now.
High-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) is as important to dental procedures as the most expensive equipment in the operatory. Without it, dental professionals would be exposed to all kinds of potentially hazardous fluids and splatter. It also reduces the risks of cross-contamination.
Gloves, isolations gowns, masks, and other PPE have been standard in dental offices since the 1980s—so standard that it may have been taken for granted. “Absence makes the heart fonder” has never been truer for health care providers than during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The great need for PPE caused shortages across the country, forcing many health care professionals to reuse old masks and gowns, creating an unsafe work environment.
COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of proper infection control and protection. Here, we discuss several PPE products that reduce exposure and help keep team members and patients safe.
A-dec’s Dental Face Shield protects team members from saliva and splatter. The shield is made specifically for dentistry, and its unique shape accommodates loupes, headlamps, goggles, and face masks, without obstructing your vision. It is light and breathable, and its shoulder-rest design helps eliminate pressure on the neck for all-day comfort. The Dental Face Shield is reusable and easy to clean and disinfect, with a snap-on visor, making replacement easy. Its large wing grips help minimize touchpoints to ensure proper hygiene.
Secure Fit™ mask technology is the first to include an aluminum strip both above the nose and under the chin to significantly reduce gapping at the top, sides, and bottom of the mask and minimize exposure to airborne particulates. These flexible strips can be adjusted to form a tighter, more secure seal around your unique face shape. Crosstex surgical masks with Secure Fit are made in the United States and are available in 3 levels of protection: American Society for Testing and Materials levels 1, 2, and 3.
The MAXIMAProcedure Mask Level 3 is a comfortable mask featuring a soft, nonirritating inner and outer facing for extended wear. The full-width, flexible nosepiece provides fit and security. The MAXIMA Procedure Mask is fluid resistant and fiberglass-free, and is not made from natural rubber latex. The masks are available in a quantity of 50 per box in the following color options: teal, white, blue, pink, yellow, lavender.
The Safe-T-First face shields provides full face and eye protection. It is fully adjustable for maximum safety and comfort. Plus, this shield is lightweight, so it can be worn for hours. The viewing area is antifog and distortion-free as well. The Safe-T-First shield comes with a latex-free forehead cushion, which enhances user comfort and wearability.
Designed by a dentist, this isolation gown is reusable, washable, and water resistant. It’s said to provide practices cost savings by eliminating the need to reorder gowns. Designed with a water-resistant material, the gowns are fabricated to protect against pathogens. Alcohol wipes can be used to sterilize heavily exposed surfaces of the gowns between patients—however, it is necessary to change gowns between patients after exposure to a high-pathogen environment. The gowns are reusable for up to 100 wears or washes. It is available with a cap or attachable hood.
natural extensions Earloop Face Masks are fiberglass-free and each face mask provides a fluid-resistant outer layer and an inner layer that is gentle on the skin. Full-length earloops ensure a secure, comfortable fit with no pulling. Its enclosed nose strip adjusts to form a strong customized seal. The masks provide a 98.5% filtration rate at 0.5 micron. natural extensions are available in American Society for Testing and Materials levels 1, 2, and 3. A visor option and hypoallergenic, latex-free option are also available.
iVisor is a reusable visor and shield kit that provides full-face protection against sprays, splashes, and spatter of body fluids. The barrier shield features an antifog coating to provide superior optical clarity at all times. To reuse after contamination, simply wash the visor and shield with warm water and disinfectant soap and dry. Its antifog coating allows for optical clarity in wet and steamy environments. The iVisor is fully adjustable and can be reshaped to comfortably fit all head sizes. It also comes in a variety of kit colors, including black, pink, white, violet, teal, and blue.
The Path-O-Guard mask meets current American Society for Testing and Materials level 3 surgical face mask standards. It features a bacterial filtration efficiency of ≥98% and a submicron particle filtration efficiency at 0.1 micron: ≥98%. The 3-ply spun bound fabric offers comfort, filtration, and breathability. The mask pleats over the nose, mouth, and chin for complete coverage and protection. The Path-O-Guard is latex-free and is available in antifluid and antifog options.
The PPE Face Shield from ClikRay is a multiuse, reusable system featuring an optical grade, replaceable polycarbonate shield. Ample room is provided to accommodate magnifying loupes within the padded headband. Earloop retention hooks for direct face mask attachment are a special feature to help alleviate stress on your ears.Made in the United States, the ClikRay PPE Face Shield system is readily available with no supply chain issues from many dental suppliers.