Team of dental professionals

The science behind peace of mind.

From breathable filters and skin-friendly antiseptic to sterilization indicators, 3M solutions can help you have confidence in the equipment that keeps your team and patients safe.

Put confidence in your hands.

  • More than ever, patients and dental professionals have a heightened awareness of the dangers posed by bacteria, viruses and harmful contaminants. For many years, 3M has helped healthcare providers around the world protect against infection. Now, we’re here to help your practice get back to work with tools to prevent cross-contamination – and most importantly, to help give your patients and staff peace of mind.

    As you navigate the recovery, 3M stands with your team – not just as a provider of trusted PPE and infection prevention solutions, but also as an educational resource committed to lifelong oral health for all. Read on to learn more about our product offerings, frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and dental PPE, and other ways you can prevent contamination throughout your practice.

    Your patients are in good hands – yours. Trust our science to deliver solutions that help keep them clean and confident: Proprietary filter media designed for ease of breathing. Antiseptic that destroys bacteria while remaining gentle on skin. At-a-glance indicators of sterilizer performance. This is the science of infection prevention.

Infection Prevention Solutions for Dental Professionals

Dental instruments, hands, common surfaces… you know how vital it is to stop microorganisms from spreading at every touchpoint throughout your practice. Proper hand hygiene, personal protective equipment and sterilization all help prevent cross-contamination – and help reduce the risk that pathogens pose to your patients and your staff.

  • dental professional wearing face mask
    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Your team is dedicated to patient care. 3M stands with you, and strives to provide PPE that your staff will feel comfortable – and confident – about wearing. Learn more about our fluid-resistant surgical masks and N95 respirators, and discover the science of safety.

  • touchless dispenser with Avagard hand antiseptic
    Hand Hygiene Solutions

    Hands are the most common source of pathogen transmission – which makes proper hand hygiene a critical part of your infection prevention protocol. Formulated for healthcare professionals like you, 3M™ Avagard™ Hand Hygiene Solutions kill bacteria, but are also gentle enough on hands for frequent, repeated use. So you can be confident that your team – and your patients – are in good hands.

  • sterilization assurance indicators in pack
    Sterilization Monitoring

    Sterilization assurance is about more than recordkeeping. It’s the knowledge that your instruments are being properly sterilized every time. It’s the ability to reduce the time required to obtain critical information about the sterilization process. And it’s the confidence that comes with adhering to best practices for infection prevention.

We’re here to help

3M is committed to helping you navigate the complex situation around COVID-19 health crisis – and around the recovery. Reach out to our knowledgeable customer care team with your product, education or technical questions.

8am–5pm CST

8am–5pm CST

Featured Videos

FAQs about PPE for Dental Professionals

Get back to work with confidence. is your gateway to useful information about the personal protective equipment that helps keep your staff – and your patients – safe.

  • Masks

    • Help reduce the risk of large particles expelled by the wearer - such as saliva and mucus - from reaching patients.
    • Outer layer of mask may be fluid resistant.

    N95 Respirators

    • Help reduce particles inhaled by wearer.
    • Designed to fit tightly, creating a seal between the face and the respirator.
    • Requires fit testing and then user seal checks each time the respirator is donned
    • Tested and certified by NIOSH.

    Surgical N95 Respirators

    • Help reduce particles both inhaled and expelled by wearer.
    • The main feature that differentiates a surgical N95 respirator from a standard N95 is the fluid resistance for high velocity bodily fluids (i.e. blood and saliva).

    Masks vs. respirators: A practical comparison (PDF, 561.38 KB)

    Video: Masks vs. Respirators

  • No, dental masks have differing levels of fluid resistance depending on the material they are made of. It is important to read the specifications to determine which type is suitable for oral care procedures.

    In addition to protecting patients from particles expelled by the wearer, fluid resistant masks provide a barrier to help keep saliva or blood splatter from reaching the wearer’s mouth and nose.

    Video: Fluid Resistance Testing

  • According to the CDC Infection Control Standard Precautions, Dental Professionals should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks, when splashes or sprays of blood and body fluids are likely. When choosing a mask, a health care professional should consider fit, fluid resistance, filtration ability and breathability.

    According to the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response dental health care personnel should select the highest level of personal protective equipment (PPE) available.  For additional details please visit:

  • To be effective, a respirator needs to be worn correctly throughout the duration of the exposure. Always follow the User Instructions included in your product packaging. Download our posters or watch the videos for a visual reference on how to don (put on), wear and doff (remove) your respirator.

    Wear it right: 3M™ Aura™ Health Care Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask 1870+ (PDF, 639.30 KB)

  • OSHA does not require any specific certification for fit testers. In 29 CFR 1910/134 Appendix A, OSHA says, “The employer shall ensure that persons administering qualified fit testing are able to prepare test solutions, calibrate equipment and perform tests properly, recognize invalid tests and ensure that test equipment is in proper working order.

    Video: Respirator and Mask Fit Test

  • Fit Test

    • Conducted by a trained fit tester
    • Verifies that the respirator can achieve an acceptable fit on a wearer’s face
    • Must be conducted annually or more often if the wearer’s face changes in a way that could impact the fit

    User Seal Check

    • Performed by the wearer each time the respirator is worn
    • Confirms that the respirator is worn correctly and has sealed to the face
  • 3M is collaborating with several sterilization companies and institutions that are investigating ways for hospitals to safely decontaminate N95 FFRs. To that effect, 3M is committed to testing 3M N95 FFRs regarding the effect of the decontamination processes on fit and filtration performance.

    We are in the process of testing treated 3M respirators from multiple sterilization companies and institutions. We do anticipate that additional information will be available as this work is completed and reviewed with regulatory agencies.

    • Current information supports the following conclusions for all 3M filtering facepiece particulate respirators.
    • 3M does not recommend the use of Ethylene Oxide due to significant concerns associated with off-gassing.
    • 3M does not recommend the use of Ionizing Radiation due to degradation in filter performance.
    • 3M does not recommend the use of Microwave due to melting of the respirator near metal components resulting in compromise of fit.
    • 3M does not recommend the use of High Temperature, Autoclave, or Steam due to significant filter degradation.

    Considering the many variables involved in the process, decontamination of FFRs in the US should follow all requirements of the current EUA issued for each specific decontamination method.

FAQs about Infection Prevention in Dental Practices

Infection control is top-of-mind in today’s current environment. Review these commonly asked questions for additional information and resources.

More questions about 3M and COVID-19?

Additional Educational Resources

  • 3M℠ Health Care Academy

    Earn free continuing education (CE) credits and access other healthcare topics, including infection prevention.

    Register or log in to get started.

  • Viva Learning

    Get quick access to our top dental webinars and online CE courses – no registration required.

    Watch now

  • 3M Brain Floss Blog

    Read expert thought leadership from the 3M Oral Care team and your colleagues around the world.

    Browse articles