Ga. dentist creates 3D-printing template to help with mask shortage

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Dentists and orthodontists throughout Georgia are banding together to make 3D-printed masks for doctors and nurses treating patients on the front lines of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The movement started when orthodontist Mark Causey, DMD, reached out to friends with engineering and medical backgrounds for ideas to help medical professionals amid a shortage of personal protective equipment, according to a news story by 11 Alive.

Using his orthodontic software, Dr. Causey created a design for a mask that can be 3D printed. His office adds a protective seal to the final design, and he has asked that the medical professionals who use them buy their own HEPA material as a filter.

So far, Dr. Causey has made more than 80 3D-printed masks, most of which have been sent to medical professionals in Georgia, Tennessee, and California. He emphasized it's not a replacement for traditional protective equipment, including N95 masks. But where shortages exist, it's better than some of the alternatives, such as scarves or bandanas.

Seven dental and orthodontics practices from all over Georgia have volunteered to help fit the public for the 3D masks. Dentists who are interested in participating can contact the Georgia Dental Association.

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