ADA encourages waiting period before disinfecting treatment rooms

Dentists should exercise caution in determining the waiting period before disinfecting treatment rooms, according to the American Dental Association's response to the CDC's recent relaxation of dental safety protocols.

The CDC removed its recommendation to wait 15 minutes before disinfecting treatment rooms from its guidelines for dental settings June 17. However, the ADA urges dentists to assess their practice's COVID-19 infection hazards and make an informed decision on how long to wait before disinfection, since aerosol droplets need time to settle in the room to lessen the likelihood of virus transmission.

The ADA recommends dentists consider the following variables:

• Room air flow rate

• Procedure length

• Patient volume

• HEPA air filtration device use

• Rubber dams and high speed evacuation use

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