Reopening dental offices post COVID-19 closures has been challenging, with dentists across the country looking for the best ways to protect their team members, their patients and themselves from exposure to the coronavirus.
To help make this a little easier, we asked readers to submit their “back to work” plans so we could share the best ones with the rest of the industry. The submissions we received didn’t disappoint, but one stood out to Dr. Leslie S.T. Fang, the world-renowned clinician who judged the contest. Dr. Leslie S.T. Fang chose a dentist who has found a creative way to make N95-like masks.
“At a time when everyone is struggling with PPE shortages, Dr. Robert Shorey decided to make his own N95ish mask,” Dr. Fang said. “The process is not simple, but it takes into account the two elements that are necessary: The mask is form-fitting by design and has the right filter. It remains to be validated with respect to the N95 filtration efficiency, but I think it will pass muster.”
Dr. Shorey detailed the steps to take to create the masks, covered what material to use and included several pictures of the process as well as the final outcome. The masks are meant for dentists who don’t have access to N95s.
“N95 masks are in very short supply,” Dr. Shorey wrote in his submission. “Under emergency circumstances some reasonable alternatives might be used to at least protect an owner doctor not held to OSHA regulation. The attached paper documents a method to create a good fitting mask with 94-99 filtration ability using MERV 13 fibrous filter paper commonly found in hypoallergenic central air systems.”
Dr. Shorey’s submission also included how to improve aerosol prevention in a common 3D printed visor. Many available visor laser shields are very thin, but with the improvements Dr. Shorey detailed, they can be modified to offer better protection.