Types of Face Masks Used in Dentistry
A medical face mask, also referred to as a surgical face mask, is designed to be worn by doctors and medical professionals during various surgical procedures. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infections from spreading in patients, by capturing bacteria shed by the patient and spraying droplets of liquid into the air. Although surgical masks can help protect the eye area from infection by trapping dirt particles and other debris, they cannot completely prevent a person’s eyes from becoming infected.
One type of face mask is called a postop face mask. These masks are worn after a person has surgery or has undergone emergency surgery that leaves their nose, mouth or chin exposed. Postop masks provide several benefits to patients who wear them. They are easy to use and disposable; unlike disposable medical face masks which are used only one time for each surgery. They are also comfortable to wear, and allow patients to breathe without restriction during surgery and other times when wearing the mask might cause an uncomfortable feeling.
A face mask worn before a person has any medical procedure is called a preoperative face mask. This type of mask is designed to provide a sterile, clean working environment for doctors and staff when working with patients. Preop masks do not restrict patients’ breathing because the wearer does not need to exhale.
There are many types of surgical face masks used in dentistry offices. The most common types are made from either plastic or silicone. These types of face masks help protect the mouth, nose and eyes from contamination. The mouthpiece must be attached to the head by way of a mouthpiece ring, which prevents it from falling off the patient’s face. The nose piece connects to the nose by way of a nasal ring, which also prevents it from falling off the patient’s face.
Some dentists recommend that patients wear a face mask while they are asleep. When a patient is sleeping, the nasal passage is covered when a nasal spray is sprayed in the patient’s mouth. While the nasal spray dries, it spreads the spores of bacteria across the face. The spores are then breathed into the patient’s mouth through the nose or mouthpiece and into the air. When the spores land in the mouth, they begin to decay, producing an odor, which alerts the patient that they are being contaminated. This prevents them from inhaling spores that may have been spread on their clothes or their food.
Some dentists recommend that a face mask is used on patients recovering from an accident or undergoing invasive surgery. These masks prevent any spores from being inhaled and entering the patient’s body by blocking the windpipe and forcing the windpipe back into the throat. The face mask also helps reduce the risk of infecting the wound or the surgical site through contamination. An important benefit of using a face mask during an emergency is that the wound and the airway may not be contaminated, resulting in less discomfort and less chance for infection.