Dentists and Dental Practitioners Covid-19 PPE Best Practice
Versaflo PAPR as PPE for Dentists and Dental Practitioners
Dentists, Dental Nurses and all associated professionals related to Dentistry, are at great risk when it comes to protecting against contracting the Coronavirus – Covid-19. The very nature of the tasks involved, mean that the PPE used has to be comprehensive, but what is the advice? What are the guidelines on the best protection for Dentists and the Dental profession, and how comprehensive is it?
In the August 2020 survey of 500 dental practitioners by Dental Protection, there were some salient points that were highlighted. Two of the most pertinent are illustrated below:
- 30% were said to be concerned by the lack of PPE and firm guidance on applicable safety levels afforded by the differing types.
- 43% were more concerned for their patients’ health then their own.
A statement then went on to read: ‘..Dentists are among the most dedicated healthcare professionals in the world. I am not surprised that so many have put the concerns of their patients’ health before their own..’
The survey results seem to beg the question:
‘What is the best, safest, and most comprehensive PPE solution for the Dentistry environment?’To address this question, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC.gov) guide states:
‘..Use an N95 rated respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection…’It continues to say that any face mask or respirator user should:
‘..wear eye protection in addition to their face mask to ensure the eyes, nose and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretion during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated..’
So the outlines are there, but what is the solution that achieves all the required goals?
FFP3 and N95 rated facemasks can, with correct fitting, and suitable eyewear achieve an adequate, albeit imperfect solution. For more surety, the user should look for a more all-encompassing device, such as a PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator). When used with a suitable hood or protective helmet, this solution will provide the best and most assured protection.
To further illustrate the suitability and practicality of this solution, see this article in Dentistry Online
An example of this type of solution would be the 3M Versaflo Powered Air Respirator alongside its associated protective headwear. The 3M Versaflo provides twice the protection of an FFP3 Facemask – the highest rated facemask available.
Powered Air Respirators are rated in a slightly different way to the surgical face mask ratings. In order to illustrate we have simplified it as follows:
FFP3 stands for Filtering Face Piece at the third level and when talking about protection is only applied to disposable respirators. In terms of protection, what FFP3 relates to is Assigned Protection Factor (APF) 20, which essentially means when applied correctly it reduces expose to a hazard by a factor of 20. Please see below for direct correlation.
FFP3 is this highest level that can be achieved in a disposable respirator.
The 3M Versaflo TR-302E is a Powered Air Respirator (PAPR) and PAPR’s are not measured in FFP ratings but in TH levels, standing for Turbo Hood. Powered Air Respirators with loose fitting hoods are usually classified as TH2 or TH3; it will have an approval for the unit and headtop combination, not just the turbo unit itself. Like FFP’s, these can also be linked the APF’s:
The 3M Versaflo TR-300+ with all S-Series hoods and M-Series helmets have a classification of TH3, which is APF 40.
In terms of protection factor, the TR-300+ with an approved headtop will have double the level of protection as an FFP3 (APF 20 vs APF 40).
For the best-selling related products themselves. You can see the range here: PAPR Versaflo Powered Air
The most popular PAPR solution for Dentists and Dental surgeries, alongside surgeons and other medical clinicians is the 3M Versaflo M-306 Helmet and TR-315 Powered Air Starter Kit Bundle (providing a powered air starter kit with full helmet – suitable for all users)
No ‘fit’ test is required with this productAlternatively you can tailor a bespoke PAPR solution for your needs : The Versaflo TR315 powered air starter kit on its own – to which you need to add one of the following :
3M™ Versaflo™ TR-300+ PAPR Features and Benefits
Coronavirus Safety: 'PAPR' Protection Getting High Marks From First Responders
- Dale Bennet