ADA & OSHA Recommendations
What do the ADA and OSHA recommend for aerosol control and safety for dental professionals during this time?
Both the ADA and OSHA recommend reducing or eliminating procedures that produce aerosols. In today's dental clinic, that eliminates quite a bit.
If aerosol producing procedures are necessary, both recommend using dental dams with HVE suction. While the standard of care in some circumstances, dental dams are not appropriate or convenient in every situation. Additionally, if you are trying to reduce the amount of dental care staff exposed to aerosols, four-handed dentistry is counterproductive. Further, dental hygienists using ultrasonic scalers produce a high amount of aerosols and do not have an extra set of hands for HVE aerosol control.
Studies have shown that using high-volume isolation systems are equally or more effective at reducing spatter and aerosols during your dental procedures when compared to dental dams and HVE suction as recommended by OSHA and the ADA.
Additionally, high-volume isolation systems are much more practical and convenient than dental dams and HVE Suction. They are easy to use for a variety of clinical applications performed both by dentists and hygienists and offer continuous, hands-free uninterrupted suction and aerosol control properly placed at the source of production.
Increase the standard of care recommended by the ADA and OSHA and take extra precautions with research-based approaches to aerosol reductions.
Aerosols in Dentistry
Studies have shown that aerosols generated from a patient's mouth can contain
up to 100,000 bacteria per cubic foot of air.
The risks dental care professionals face of contracting transmittable diseases from aerosolization of body fluids during routine procedures are not new, but increased concern over COVID-19 has brought attention to an area of dentistry that has been overlooked before.
This is mainly because the aerosol particles of COVID-19 pose an even greater threat than those of other transmittable diseases. The size of these ultra-fine viral particles can enter the bloodstream and target organs such as the heart and brain.
Most aerosol containing infectious agents originating from the patient remain 36” from the patient’s face. These aerosols, as well as spatter, pose a threat to the dentist and other staff members in proximity. COVID-19 aerosols have been estimated to travel up to 20 feet.
Additionally, COVID-19 remains viable in aerosols for 3 hours or more around your dental chair, posing a risk to the multiple patients and dental care staff exposed in that time frame. Aerosols will continue to settle on instruments and furniture in that time. COVID-19 stays on stainless steel and plastic surfaces for up to three days.
Further, we know that people infected with COVID-19 may not have any visible symptoms, but still have the potential to transmit the virus. Risks of "super-spreading events" increase when aerosols are produced during routine dental procedures on an asymptomatic patient, as their is no way to tell if postponement of treatment is necessary.
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A Research-Based Approach
Several researchers have found that using High Volume Evacuation (HVE) significantly reduces aerosols and spatter generated during routine dental procedures.
Greatly decrease the possibility of transmission of communicable diseases from patients through reduction of contaminated aerosolized fluids. High-performance isolation systems and High-Volume Evacuation mirrors simplify using properly placed, continuous HVE suction, reducing aerosols by 90% or more right at the source.
Using continuous, well-placed HVE suction is one way you can reduce risks to yourself, your staff and your patients from infectious particles in aerosols. The VacuLUX HVE adapter and the VacuVUE HVE Mirror make adding aerosol control to your clinic simple, portable and affordable.
For 90% Aerosol Reduction
You've made the right choice with properly placed, continuous, high-volume suction.
Now chose the right equipment.
Resources and further reading:
Perio-Implant Advisory: COVID-19 and the problem with dental aerosols
New England Journal of Medicine: Aerosol and Surface Stability of COVID-19
International Journal of Oral Science: Transmission Routes of COVID-19
Journal of the American Dental Association: Evaluation of Spatter Reduction Effectiveness of two dry-field isolation techniques
Journal of the American Dental Association: Aerosols and Splatter in Dentistry
Decisions in Dentistry: Transmission Precautions for Dental Aerosols
Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19 - Control and Prevention - Dentistry Workers and Employers
Ascentcare Dental Products, Inc. is not affiliated with Dryshield or Zyris Isolite.