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PPE Requirements for Dental Practices

November 20, 2023 36508

Information on this chart is based on the dental board and Cal/OSHA requirements. The Cal/OSHA COVID-19 non-emergency temporary standard definition for face covering is “a surgical mask, a medical procedure mask, a respirator worn voluntarily, or a tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers that completely covers the nose and mouth and is secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. If gaiters are worn, they shall have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers. A face covering is a solid piece of material without slits, visible holes, or punctures, and must fit snugly over the nose, mouth, and chin with no large gaps on the outside of the face. A face covering does not include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or a single layer of fabric."

Currently, there is no state policy requiring the wearing of masks for COVID-19 prevention. Individual counties have issued public health orders for specified healthcare workers and others to wear masks during their designated flu season. Dental board regulations require the wearing of masks in combination with either chin length plastic face shields or protective eyewear whenever there is potential for aerosol spray or spattering of OPIM.

** If consistent with office uniform policy, dental team members should change out of street clothes into clinical attire upon arrival to the office. Clinical attire is not considered PPE. PPE should be donned prior to seeing patients. Lab coats worn as the outermost garment that provide adequate protection for the employee may be considered PPE. A gown may be a more appropriate choice of protective attire for most dental procedures.
^ PPE in these scenarios should be changed between patients when visibly wet or soiled.
# PPE, including gowns, should be changed between patients.

& respirator is not required if the patient on the day of treatment self-administered an OTC COVID-19 antigen diagnostic test with a negative result. A surgical mask must be worn instead.
+ For staff performing in-office laundering duties, gloves and appropriate clinical attire must be worn. Use of face shield or eye protection are recommended. Follow established protocols for cleaning patient care areas.


NIOSH Certified Equipment List Search

FDA N95 Respirators, Surgical Masks, Face Masks and Barrier Face Coverings 

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