The California Dental Association (CDA) is distributing approximately 25,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to licensed dentists in the state. The supply of masks, face shields, and gowns comes from California’s pandemic response stockpile and was made available to the CDA by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The State of California procured large supplies of surgical masks and other PPE, which are in short supply through traditional, commercial distribution channels, by contracting directly with manufacturers and is now making this supply available to healthcare providers statewide, the CDA said.
CDA has taken delivery of 4 million surgical masks as well as tens of thousands of N95 and KN95 masks, face shields, and surgical gowns. It will distribute the PPE via its online dental supplier, tdsc.com, as a fulfillment mechanism. The supplier’s staff repackaged the supplies as evenly as possible to maximize distribution to all licensed dentists in California regardless of whether they are CDA members, the CDA said.
“CDA strongly advocated for dentists, who are essential healthcare providers, to be allotted masks and other PPE that is badly needed for practitioners to resume providing oral healthcare to Californians,” said Dr. Richard Nagy, CDA president.
“Dental pain and infection are a common reason people seek help in hospital emergency rooms, and it’s critical for dentists to have necessary PPE to provide care and prevent patients from going to the ER for dental problems during this pandemic,” said Nagy.
The PPE kits generally include 150 Level 2 surgical masks and a small quantity of N95 and KN95 masks, face shields, and gowns. Dentists interested in obtaining a PPE kit, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for a $20 shipping and handling charge, can visit tdsc.com/freeppe. A valid dental license will be required to complete a purchase and will be validated before products are shipped.
County emergency management authorities across California also will continue to provide PPE to dentists locally as it is made available. The CDA said it is committed to continue working with the state to obtain a steady stream of PPE for dentists to maintain their practices and ensure the safety of their patients and dental teams.