A DENTAL laboratory is using its digital technology to provide free face masks for medical staff country-wide.

Bolton-based Swift Dental Group has made more than 1,000 visors, which are being used by front line workers treating patients who have COVID-19.

Its supplies are now being used by hospitals across the country, including the Royal Bolton Hospital.

And now the firm has launched an ambitious appeal to help them make 100,000 masks.

The scheme started after the company stopped operating following the lockdown imposed by the Government, with staff at all six of its sites put on furlough.

CAD/CAM manager Anthony Wilkinson began working on ideas to utilise the firm’s 3D printers and quickly came up with a way of producing full face personal protective equipment (PPE) visors.

A text message was sent out to headquarters staff asking if they could volunteer to help with the project and all of the team wanted to get involved.

After a social media campaign, and through word of mouth, the availability of the PPE visors became widely known, and the company was inundated with requests, averaging more than 200 a day.

By the second week of production more than 1,000 visors had been made and distributed all over the UK to hospitals, paramedics, care homes, police and other frontline staff.

More than £10,000 worth of material has been committed by the firm and now it is asking for support to reach its six-figure target.

Managing director Roy McGillivray said: “Swift Dental appreciates the NHS is under immense financial strain at this time.

“And so it was important to us to try to help in any small way we can by providing these masks free of charge to help protect our frontline heroes.

“Having made significant investment in 3D printing equipment and having a supply of material we realised we could utilize our facility, equipment and expertise to manufacture face visors.”

To donate to the Swift Dental Group’s GoFundMe page click here. Excess funds will go to charity.

If you are an NHS or key worker and need PPE visors, email hello@swiftdental.co.uk or send a message via its social media channels.