University at Buffalo dental students provide 3D-printed face shields for local dentists

A team from the University at Buffalo's School of Dental Medicine is using 3D printers to supply local dentists with face shields during the pandemic.

The team has been creating reusable face shields and comfort bands designed to reduce strain on the ears, both of which have earned the National Institutes of Health's approval. Each shield takes about 90 minutes to produce.

"This opportunity has allowed me to broaden my horizons and continue learning about innovative advances when it comes to problem-solving," third-year dental student Shaina Chechang said in a June 24 new release. "A box of masks before the pandemic was less than $10, and a few weeks ago it was $53. It’s shocking, but, unfortunately, that’s the reality of it. The idea of 3D printing PPE is a great way to resolve the shortage."

More than 800 comfort bands and 150 face shields have already been delivered to dentists. The project is led by Praveen Arany, DDS, a UB oral health professor who reallocated nearly $7,000 of his lab's resources to the effort.

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