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N95 Fit Testing/Hazard Assessment

According to the American Dental Association, if an N95 mask is not required, but is used under the voluntary use provision of the Respiratory Infection Control Standard, a fit test is not required. This was verified with OSHA.
(photo: intertek alchemy)


N95 initial fit testing is only required if the wearing of an N95 mask is required. OSHA has not required N95 masks for dental personnel unless:

1. Treating known or suspected COVID-19 positive patients or
2. The dentist’s own airborne hazard assessment reveals a need for N95 masks.

The ADA has posted a template for dentists to use in performing a hazard assessment.

COVID-19 Hazard Assessment


However, any time an N95 mask is being chosen as the safest PPE, an initial fit test and medical clearance is recommended, even if not required. The fit test can be performed, with a kit, in the office. The medical clearance is recommended because there is greater resistance in the N95 and some may not be able to wear one. Medical clearance is a required part of the protocol if the N95 is required.
 
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