Oregon dentist installs custom air-flow system to protect patients, staff

Bandon, Ore.-based dentist Sharen Strong, DMD, is using a custom high-volume directed air-flow system in her office to protect patients and staff from aerosols, pollen, bacteria and viruses, Bandon Western World reported.

Dr. Strong met with a local heating and cooling contractor and administrators at Coos Bay, Ore.-based Bay Area Hospital to devise a plan to install the system under her practice as she prepared to treat patients during the pandemic.

Her system works by drawing fresh outside air into the office's heating and cooling system via a filter near the roof. Then exhaust fans below each operatory room create negative pressure, and air is drawn into the room from the HVAC system. Air then flows across the patient's chair and back outside through a floor vent.

The system, which produces a complete air exchange every two to five minutes, uses a HEPA-type filter, meaning particles as small as one micron get filtered out.

"We weren’t required to make changes in our air system, but we knew it would help protect everyone who is in the office," Dr. Strong told Bandon Western World. "You can feel the difference right away when you walk in, and patients really appreciate it."

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