In anticipation of you reopening your practices when the state mandate is lifted, the ADA has developed interim guidance on the personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended for you to practice during the pandemic and minimize the risk of virus transmission for you, your staff and your patients. Additional guidance will be issued regarding protocols for office and treatment procedures. As you are reopening your practices, please remember to exercise your professional judgment and carefully consider the availability of the appropriate PPE to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- *UPDATED!* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of masks equivalent to the N95 during the pandemic period. Approved manufacturers can be found here. Manufacturers of masks that are no longer approved can be found here.
Personal Protective Equipment, Including Masks
The FDA has received many questions regarding PPE, including masks. We understand that you may be running out of supplies. The ADA is working with reliable domestic manufacturers, key dental distributors and others to increase access to PPE for dental professionals, but access to masks and face shields, along with disposable gowns, are currently the hardest to procure, according to distributors. FDA President Dr. Rudy Liddell tested face shields from Gator Millworks as part of his due diligence on the ADA Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery for reopening practices. He found their shield comfortable and easy to use. The contact at Gator Millworks is Chad Foster and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gatorppe.com to order online.
We are advocating through relevant government agencies and individuals to make sure dentists, who are considered essential workers per the Department of Homeland Security, have sustained access to these PPE items when you reopen your practices. The ADA also is recommending that dentists stop donating their PPE at this time to help prepare themselves for reopening with needed materials. The FDA also has sent a letter to the governor requesting PPE for dentists.
In addition, the ADA and the FDA urge dentists to be cautious about purchasing dental materials from the gray market, as they may not meet certain standards approved by the FDA and ASTM International. The gray market is a generic term that primarily refers to products that are traded or sold outside of the manufacturer’s authorized distribution channels. For tips on how to avoid purchasing counterfeit masks, please click here.
FDA Services’ Crown Savings Partner, The Doctor’s Supply Company (TDSC), released a webinar that not only outlines what's going on with the supply chain, but also outlines what TDSC has been doing to procure more PPE. It also provides resources that members can use to quickly identify a counterfeit mask.
The CDC's guidance for single-use disposable face masks can be found here. It now has strategies for you to use during contingency and crisis capacities. For more information about PPE, including masks, please visit the ADA's FAQs.
COVID-19 Infection Controls and Procedures Webinar
On March 20, the ADA teamed up with leading infection control experts from the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) to provide the dental community with practical guidance and education as we navigate the challenges COVID-19 is presenting to our profession.
Click here to watch the webinar and earn 1 free CE credit.
Additional Safety and Clinical Guidance Resources
The CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response can be found here.