NARBERTH, Pa. (CBS) -- When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down dental offices in March, Dr. Mindy Benjamini began brainstorming ways to be able to safely reopen her practice, MB Dentist in Narberth.
"They said it was spread through aerosol, they said it was spread through droplets. I said, that's my whole life, that's my whole practice, what am I going to do?" she said.
Some measures were easily implemented, such as temperature checks at the door, masks and face shields for staff, and upgrading the office's air purification system. But she needed to find a way to contain aerosols and sprays known to spread the coronavirus. After several prototypes, she came up with PatientsShield.
"This clear part is rotating, so it's very flexible and you can choose where and how you put it," she demonstrated for Eyewitness News.
Benjamini says the PatientsShield not only protects patients but providers as well, and the clear polycarbonate barrier is easily sanitized between patients.
A disposable curtain goes around it to keep any contaminants within the workspace. It's meant to be used with a funnel system that removes potential biohazards.
"I'm sure there's other things out there. There's plenty of safe dentists also, but this is very practical and my patients are loving it, so I really hope a lot of other people can use this," Benjamini said.
Patient Paola Morsiani admits she was apprehensive about returning to the dentist but says all of the new precautions put her at ease.
"I was separated from the hygienist and the dentist, so that's an added sort of sense of security and it was good," Morsiani said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that dentists still prioritize the most critical care right now. But Benjamini says it can also be dangerous for people to continue to delay their routine dental care.
"If you aren't even aware that you have a problem, you could end up with another body problem, a different organ that is being affected," she said.
To find out more information about PatientsShield, visit https://patientsshield.com/.
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