The dental community’s concern continues to rise regarding the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supply and availability for their return to work, as mandated by their respective governing bodies.

Yesterday, our COVID-19 Survival Guide update mentioned the mandate to use fitted N95 Masks. In our discussion, we broke down the reality about the lack of supply. We also outlined the problem regarding fitting appointments and how they have stopped due to the face-to-face requirement.

Today, we review another essential PPE item that is in high demand and also has a critical shortage issue – Gowns. Apparently, a U.S. recall in January of 9 million Chinese surgical gowns is one of the reasons why there is a current shortage. The increasing demand and lack of supply have pushed disposable gowns (which were in the past < $1) to 10-15 times the cost for COVID-19 protection.

The guidelines released so far on PPE gowns has no reference to it having to be surgical-grade Level 2. This scenario leaves us with the option of a Level 1 non-surgical gown. However, Level 1 non-surgical gowns are also in short supply!

So, what do we do? When perfection is not available, we strive for progress. At Transitions Group, we get creative to find a solution. Thanks to members of our Transitions client family and the goal of making washable gowns as a better-than-nothing option, we are sharing the (DIY) do-it-yourself gown information. The instructions include the cutting and sewing patterns (for those of you who know how to sew).

Note – a washable, ideal material calls for a heavier weight cotton and takes approximately 1 hour to sew. The cotton makes the gown washable and reusable. If cotton is not available, you can make your gown from polyester and polyester-cotton blends. There may be a shortage of elastic material, used around the wrist area. However, we can always tuck this piece inside our gloves for now and add it on later.

See the resources below for DIY Gown Solutions:




Let’s get creative and resourceful as we prepare for The New Normal – The Return to Dentistry!


Lisa Philp
Chief Visionary Officer
Transitions Group