We all know that the air outside is filled with pollution: from cars, from industry, and even from landfills. But what about our indoor air?
Believe it or not, it is often more polluted than outdoor air. And if you own or work in a dental office, one of the threats to your respiratory health is dental aerosol.
What Is Dental Aerosol?
Good question. They’re those little particles emitted by high-speed instruments used in dental and orthodontic procedures. For example, dental aerosol from suction tools. You might not think they’re a big deal because they seem like nothing more than specks of saliva and water vapor. But it turns out these tiny droplets can carry bacteria and other chemicals into the air and onto surfaces around you—potentially putting yourself at risk for infection or even long-term respiratory health problems.
What Are the Risks With Dental Aerosol?
There are a few primary risks to keep in mind. First, there is the transmission of viruses and bacteria. Usually, dental aerosols come into contact with the inside of the patient’s mouth before going airborne. This means that when you breathe in the aerosol, you also breathe in the viruses and bacteria in their mouths. That is a major concern during the pandemic.
However, there can also be a lot of particles inside this spray. For example, when drilling a tooth, particles of the enamel and dentin can be inhaled, as well as synthetic materials used in caps and veneers when these are removed.
What Are Ways to Guard Against Dental Aerosols?
The best option is to have a dental aerosol fume extraction system in place. Small, portable systems are ideal for dental offices since they can be moved between exam rooms and do not take up a significant amount of space. These systems help pull aerosol out of the air and filter it through the machine, pulling out viruses, bacteria, and other concerning particles.
Dental aerosol risks are very real. If you’re looking to increase the safety of your practice, a dental office air filtration system is necessary. With the correct dental suction machine, you should be able to breathe safely behind your mask.
Learn more about the benefits of dental aerosol fume extraction.