Dentists, orthodontists and teachers team up to build better face mask for first responders

Bob Didier, Rising Starr Middle School

A group of dentists and orthodontists in Georgia is working on a better protective mask for first responders.  The mask uses shop vac Hepa filters, 3-D printed parts and elastic straps from old swim goggles. They say it will provide better protection than paper or cloth masks.

Dr. Brian Bragassa of Peachtree Orthodontics showed us the mask he and other dentists and orthodontists in Georgia have designed to provide better protection for first offenders. Dr. Bragassa says the mask is similar to the much-coveted but scarce N-95.

"It's not FDA approved and has not gone through extensive testing.  But it is better than a cloth or paper mask.

Dr. Bragassa’s practice at Peachtree City Orthodontics is closed for now.  The group is sharing its designs on a website called www.

The Fayette County community has been donating the swim goggles and headbands that are used for the elastic straps.

And technology classes in the Fayette County School system are using their 3-D printers to make the framework of the mask.

Bob Didier is teaching his students online these days.  He says this is a real-world example for them on how to use technology to solve critical problems.

"It takes about 7 to 8 hours to make the masks," said Didier, a technology and engineering teacher at Rising Starr Middle School in Fayette County.  He sais he has two printers going and there are other teachers also using their printers. He encouraged anyone in the community who has a 3-D printer at home to join the project.  

There is still a need for more elastic so Dr. Bragassa has a donation box set up outside his Peachtree City Office.

Any first responder who would like a free mask should contact Peachtree City Orthodontics.