May 18, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist has implemented several additional steps to their usual infection control protocols. While some of these procedures, like advanced staff training and instrument sterilization, happen behind the scenes, others can be noticed right away. For instance, your Ft. Collins dentist may be wearing some personal protective equipment that you haven’t seen before, like a face shield. Read on to find out why this piece of PPE is so important during the COVID-19 pandemic
Why is PPE Important in COVID-19?
Like many other sicknesses, the novel coronavirus is transmitted when infected respiratory droplets come in contact with another person’s mouth, nose, or eyes. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to protect these vulnerable areas from airborne germs and infectious particles carried in fluids. Since many dental treatments generate aerosols and splashing body fluids, adequate PPE is an essential part of keeping dental professionals and their patients safe while administering care. While you’ve probably seen your dentist wear equipment like gloves and masks before, you may begin to see them use items like disposable coats and face shields.
What Are the Advantages of Face Shields?
Unlike masks and goggles, face shields can protect the wearer’s mouth, nose, and eyes all at the same time. These clear plastic visors are comfortably attached with an adjustable headband and cover a majority of the face. Additional advantages over other PPE items include:
- Increased comfort: Since face shields don’t rest directly on the wearers face, they retain less heat, don’t cause facial dermal irritation, and feel less claustrophobic.
- Doesn’t impede work: Unlike other PPE items that cover the nose and mouth, a face shield won’t hinder regular, comfortable breathing and speaking.
- Easy to clean: Thanks to how easy they are to put on and take off without spreading germs, they can easily and quickly be disinfected between patients.
What Safety Precautions Are Used with Face Shields?
Face shields are especially useful during treatments that generate splashes or spatters of potentially infectious body fluids. However, they are less effective during dental procedures that produce aerosols. Since face shields don’t form an airtight seal with the wearer’s face, germs can still be inhaled. Thankfully, they can easily be used in conjunction with goggles or N95 masks for a second layer of protection. When used with other PPE, face shields are an excellent addition to regular infection control processes.
Your dental team’s working wardrobe plays an essential role in preventing the spread of germs. While they may look a little unusual at first, face shields may become a normal way to keep you and your Ft. Collins dentist safe during care.
About the Author
Dr. Shiloh Lindsey of Aspen Dental Care has been serving the smiles of Ft. Collins for nearly two decades. She typically demonstrates her dedication to her patient’s wellbeing by offering advanced dental treatments like same-day crowns, sedation dentistry, and TMJ services. In these unusual times however, she and her team have shifted their focus on adding peace-of-mind to the excellent, friendly dental care you’ve come to expect. She has implemented 26 additional infection control processes to ensure her patients and staff are as safe as possible. If you’d like to learn more about her commitment to safety, feel free to reach her via her website or at (970) 482-3166.
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