A surgical face mask is also known as an oral or medical face mask. It is designed to be worn by medical professionals during dental procedures such as root canals, tooth extraction and filling, root canal treatment, root planing, tooth surgery, periodontal surgeries, bone grafts, face lifts, and gum lifts. Surgical masks serve to reduce the risk of infections by capturing bacteria that is shed from the mouth and nasal cavity and carrying it away in droplets and mist form the wearer’s nose and mouth.
A medical face mask is made from a sterile material with an outer protective covering, and it includes the straps to secure it on the face and neck. The inner lining is usually made from plastic and the strap material is made from rubber, while the outer surface is often made from paper.
Surgical mask liners can either be disposable or reusable, depending on the type of procedure being performed and how long it will take for it to dry before use. The disposable liners tend to be made of plastic or other disposable materials that are easily washable and are inexpensive.
Surgical mask liners contain adhesive strips which have to be adhered to the patient’s skin prior to applying the face mask and then the adhesive is firmly stitched along the lines. The adhesive strips used are specially designed to be placed at the creases and folds of the patient’s face, but these may also be used on other areas such as the forehead, chin, ears, nose, and lips. The adhesive strips will stay in place even when the patient has taken it off for washing or bathing.
The medical face masks that do not contain adhesive strips are typically reusable liners that are coated with a special kind of latex that seals the seal and keeps the glue from leaking. Once the adhesive is removed, the liner can be reused and there is no need to reapply the latex coating.
Because the surgical face mask is meant to be used by medical professionals, it should be clean and disinfected well after use, using a variety of disinfectants to kill and remove bacteria that may have collected in the surgical area. The mask should be sterilized by autoclaving and this should be done at least once a month. To protect the skin and to reduce the risks of allergic reactions, the face mask should be covered with plastic covers and should be washed with disinfectant solution or chlorinated water before and after use.