'Throw it in the garbage': Valve mask doesn't protect patients, dentist warns

Albany, N.Y.-based dentist Larry Kotlow, DDS, is warning other dentists reopening their practices about the perils of using masks with valves, according to local NBC affiliate WNYT.

Dentists who feel discomfort wearing a mask in the hot weather and opt to wear one with a valve should know that they are designed to help people who work in dusty environments to breathe out more easily. The masks protect the person wearing it, but not those around them.

"And you sneezed, everything you sneezed or coughed would be all over me," Dr. Kotlow told WNYT.

The American Dental Association sent dentists masks with valves that had earned temporary approval from the FDA, something Dr. Kotlow called "unacceptable."

The ADA maintains it sent out the masks expecting dentists would know to use them in combination with a face shield.

"If you've gone out and spent money for a valve mask, throw it in the garbage," Kotlow told WNYT.

More articles on dental:
North Carolina dental school gets $3.1 million grant to better care for patients with disabilities
Dental professionals have higher COVID-19 risk than patients
'That’s money we will never recoup': Missouri dentist battles insurance company over pandemic profit loss coverage

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