Dental Protection Reassures on Fit-Tested Masks

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Dental Protection reassures members unable to wear fit-tested masks

Dental Protection has reassured its members that their membership and ability to request assistance is unaffected if they are unable to wear a fit-tested mask, and they can seek assistance from Dental Protection in the usual way.

This reassurance follows several queries from dental professionals contacting Dental Protection in recent weeks concerned about their inability to wear a fit-tested mask for a number of reasons.

There may be legitimate reasons why it is not possible to wear a fit-tested mask including for health reasons or because it is not possible to achieve an adequate seal when wearing a mask. Dental Protection recognises that for a variety of cultural and religious reasons, removal of facial hair and beards is not an option and in turn means passing a fit-test is not possible.

The primary purpose of PPE and in particular RPE masks is for the dental professional’s own safety. Employers would also need to consider the safety of their employees if they cannot pass a fit-test.

Dental Protection recommends that members identify the overall risk to themselves, their team, and patients in situations where the fit-test has failed and ensure steps are taken to mitigate the risk.

Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection said: “We know our members are facing a number of challenges related to the reopening of practices and resuming of face-to-face care. We would like to reassure members that their membership and ability to request assistance will not be affected by the inability to wear a fit-tested FFP2 or FFP3 mask.

“The primary purpose of PPE and in particular RPE masks is for dentists’ own safety. We recommend that employers identify the overall risk in all situations where the fit test has failed and ensure steps are taken to mitigate the risk. These are challenging times, and as a profession, we may not know what the future looks like, but I can assure you that Dental Protection will be there our members.”