California licensed dental professionals can now order limited quantities of critical personal protective equipment that is in short supply through traditional, commercial distribution channels.

The California Dental Association (CDA) worked with state officials to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) for dental professionals, who are reopening their practices to non-emergency patients in line with state guidelines. CDA announced last week that The Dentists Supply Company (TDSC), a CDA subsidiary, took delivery of the PPE and that staff would first inspect, re-sort, and package the equipment to ensure the PPE could reach as many licensed practitioners in the state as possible. 

TDSC packaged the supplies into 25,000 kits, each containing quantities of surgical masks, face shields, KN95s, N95s (in the first 20,040 kits) and surgical gowns. The items were pulled from the state’s pandemic response stockpile.

Details on ordering and distribution of PPE are as follows:

  • Kits are limited one per order to support as many California licensed dental professionals as possible.
  • The products are offered at no cost, but a $20 shipping and handling fee will be assessed.
  • Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis and only while supplies last.
  • To ensure products are distributed only to licensed dental practitioners within the state (regardless of CDA membership status), dental professionals will need to create a free account (if they don’t already have one) and upload proof of dental licensure to place an order. 

“CDA strongly advocated for dental professionals, who are essential healthcare providers, to be allotted masks and other PPE that is badly needed for practitioners to resume providing oral healthcare to Californians,” says CDA President Richard Nagy, DDS.

The procurement of PPE from the state follows months long advocacy efforts, including a grassroots campaign launched early this month. More than 2,300 member dental professionals responded to CDA’s May 7 call to action to contact the governor’s office and their legislators to request that essential PPE be immediately and equitably distributed.

The state has indicated it is committed to working with the CDA to keep a stream of PPE available for doctors to be able to maintain their practices. And dental professionals can still request PPE from their local county emergency services authorities. The TDSC kits are not intended to replace local commitments to protect providers and patients.