Fresno dentist repurposes office to help with COVID-19 testing

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Local dentist, Dr. Ryan Dunlop is repurposing his practice to make testing

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Local dentist, Dr. Ryan Dunlop is repurposing his practice to make testing swabs for coronavirus testing.

The Better Life Center is using its state-of-the-art technology — a 3-D printer designed to make dental items like dentures and implants.

“My entire staff has been furloughed or laid off,” said Ryan Dunlop, DMD, the owner of Better Life Center. “So, when the opportunity came for me to repurpose my entire clinic and staff to making 3-D printed, nasopharyngeal test swabs for COVID-19, I jumped on the opportunity.”

Dunlop and his 23 employees are the first dentistry in Fresno producing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-regulated swabs and mask sealers.

“We’re contributing to the common good — there’s a spark in the air, there’s energy, my employees are happy to be back, I’m happy to be putting them back to work,” Dunlop said.

Better Life Center closed its doors electively at the end of March to protect staff and patients. 

Joseph Rodriguez, who’s the lead technician at Better Life Center says opening back up to produce these items made them into “very essential workers.”

The swabs take about five hours to make from start to finish and are made of high-quality resin that is extremely flexible.  Once the swabs are completed they are sent to another location where the compound is added so that the swabs can detect COVID-19, then the process is complete.

“Every printer, every dentist office that has this technology needs to get involved,” Dunlop said. “The faster we work together and the faster we form a cohesive front against COVID-19, the faster we can all return to our normal lives.”

Dunlop and his team estimate they can produce about 24 hundred swabs per day.

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