7 tips for dentists to consider when buying infection control devices

Many dentists are considering the use of air filters, UVC lights and suction devices to help reduce aerosols as their practices reopen, but there is a lack of messaging on how to effectively incorporate these products, according to the American Dental Association.

Here are tips for dentists to review when purchasing such products:

Air filters:

  • Dentists should consider the direction of airflow to make sure it flows from a vent situated behind the patient's head, where aerosols are generated, down to a filter by the patient's feet. In some dentists' operating rooms, air could be flowing from a ceiling vent or windows.

  • Dentists should evaluate the filter's capacity versus the size of their operating room. Portable filters can be placed anywhere in the operating room, but their capacity may not be as great as filters that are a part of a ventilation system.

UVC lights:

  • The effectiveness of ultraviolet lights with wavelengths between 200 and 280 nanometers can be affected by the following factors: amount of organic matter in the air, ambient temperature in the room, type of suspension produced by the procedure, microorganism being killed, light tube's cleanliness, and distance between target and light.

  • Dentists should also consider safety, as the medical community still has questions regarding what is a safe wavelength for human exposure.

Suction devices:

  • High-volume evacuators can effectively reduce aerosols only if they are close to the instrument source, so dentists should hold these evacuators about 2 to 5 inches from their instrument.

  • Dentists should hold extra-oral vacuum aspirators 6 to 12 inches from the patient.

  • Dentists should clean their suction devices after every procedure so the tubing is clear and the filters are clean.

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CDC updates guidelines for dental offices resuming care
Dentists can calculate PPE burn rate with CDC tool

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