New face shield could reduce dental clinical waste, provide better protection

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New face shield could reduce dental clinical waste, provide better protection

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A new face shield for dental patients could potentially also help reduce the amount of clinical waste, including personal protective equipment. (Image: Natallia Boroda/Shutterstock)

BRISTOL, UK: As Dental Tribune International has previously reported, thoughtful waste management is an increasingly important issue in dentistry in view of the amount of plastic waste produced by oral hygiene products and instruments. A new face shield for dental patients developed by researchers in the UK not only promises to be more environmentally friendly than existing options but could also provide both dental practitioners and patients with better protection against COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens.

A patient undergoing a dental procedure using the Novel Patient Shield. (Image: University of Bristol Dental School)

The device is known as the Novel Patient Shield (NoPaS) and was developed by a team led by Dr Mojtaba Dorri, a consultant in restorative dentistry in the Bristol Dental School and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to allow aerosol-generating procedures to take place in clinical dental settings with minimal risk of resulting SARS-CoV-2 transmission. According to a press release issued by the University of Bristol, NoPaS could potentially also reduce the amount of clinical waste, including personal protective equipment, that is produced in the course of dental treatment.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic the development of innovative environmentally friendly solutions have been much needed to allow routine dental care to be delivered in a safe environment without risking virus transmission,” said Dr Dorri.

He added: “With the virus still circulating and the chance of future pandemics, it is important routine dental care continues to ensure public oral health is not affected. With minor modification, NoPaS can be used for medical procedures on the head and neck, including endoscopy, anaesthetics and ear, nose and throat.”

Dr Dorri further noted that NoPaS had been patented and that his team was now actively seeking partnerships with manufacturers in order to produce the device on a mass scale.

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