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What kind of COVID-19 PPE protection will Dentists need post June 8th?
With Dentists going back to work on the 8th of June 2020 serious questions are being asked by the profession about how to protect themselves in what is an inherently face to face business with the availability of P3 masks at the top of the agenda for many practices.
From reading various dental blogs it seems that the Prime Ministers announcement about going back to work came as a bit of a shock to many Dentists with BDA Board Chair Mick Armstrong saying:
“Last Thursday's announcement came as a bolt from the blue for practices across England. In less than a week practices can reopen. But from PPE to getting practices set up for social distancing, it has not given colleagues the time to plan and prepare. From lower patient volumes to higher costs we know practices will need support to survive the ‘new normal’.
It seems that PPE is a major concern for practices up and down the country with a survey done by the BDA at the end of April clearly showing Dentists unhappy with having to pay for PPE out of their own pockets:
The British Dental Association (BDA) carried out a new poll into PPE levels at designated urgent dental care (UDC) hubs in England
The survey reports that 54% of UDC sites say shortages are affecting operational levels. Additionally, it found:
- Nearly two-thirds of dentists at sites report a supply problem with FFP3 masks and gowns
- 32% of those dentists working at sites designated to use FFP3 masks and aerosol-generating procedures are yet to be fit tested
- 58% of dentists do not feel fully protected at the UDCs they are working at
- 62% of respondents in England report their sites as active
It's interesting to note that the advice seems to recommend FFP3 masks and there is some confusion as to the FF denomination. There are two definitions:
FF - Fold Flat - commonly used on sites like Amazon
FF - Filtering Facepiece - The EU classification used by most UK manufacturers and sellers.
To give some clarity for Dentists, the EU classification above, when used in conjunction with P3 (filtering 99% of particles less than 0.3 microns) are the masks recommended under NHS Guidelines for working in environments where there may be aerosol bacteria contamination.
Both our Stealth Lite Everyday FFP3 masks offering 99%+ filtration & the Stealth P3 half-mask respirator with interchangeable filters offering up to 99.999% filtration efficiency are appropriate for medical environments such as a dental practice.
We currently have both facemasks available for immediate delivery from our factory in Lancashire.