Effectiveness and recommendations for the use of dental masks in the prevention of COVID-19: A literature review

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 Jul 17;1-20. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2020.255. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to identify, synthesize and compare all the current information on the efficacy of dental masks, emphasizing their use, types and filters to prevent the spread and infection of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. A bibliographic search of the main scientific databases was carried out using the words "masks, COVID-19 and dentistry". Articles without language restriction up to May 31, 2020 were obtained. The types of masks, their half-life, method to use, sterilization, and proposed alternatives for dental masks were analyzed. Most of the articles refer to the use of N95 or FFP2 respirators presented as a strategy to extend the life of the masks and limited reuse. Regarding sterilization, most of the articles presented studies using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as the sterilization method. Regarding respirator mask half-life, we recommend prolonged use, combined with a disposable surgical mask over the respirator mask. Finally, the use of N95 or FFP2 respirators are recommended as part of personal protective equipment for dental use.

Keywords: COVID-19; FFP2; N95; dentistry; face masks; respirator.