Have you ever wondered why your dentist in South Burlington uses chairside suction throughout your cleaning process or while conducting a treatment? During COVID-19, this instrument has a more important use than ever—helping prevent the spread of the virus to dental staff via an aerosol form. Read on to learn about how chairside suction is keeping dental practices safe and why it’s necessary now more than ever.
Hazardous Aerosols in the Dental Office
Even before COVID-19, hazardous dental aerosols were a worry among all professionals. There are over 700 different species of bacteria in the mouth, not to mention possible illnesses or viruses that could be easily transmitted via saliva. When your dentist uses high-powered cleaning or treatment instruments such as a polisher or buffer, it can create an aerosolized form of bacteria, mixed with saliva or blood, and allow it to linger in the air for up to 30 minutes and spread over 18 feet, according to a study published in J Infect Publish Health in 2015.
Because your oral cavity has such a diverse microbiome and no two patient’s are the same, these aerosols can cause a variety of illnesses such as respiratory infections. That’s why dentists have precautionary measures in place to help keep this from happening.
The Spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 is a potentially deadly virus that is transmitted via bodily droplet spread to the mucous membrane, or your eyes, nose, or mouth. Unfortunately, this can also be aerosolized and inhaled to cause infection. With proper PPE, this is less-likely; however, because it can linger in the air for over 30 minutes, it could transfer once dental staff switches out their masks or even takes them off for a brief moment. Fortunately, your emergency dentist in South Burlington has a solution.
Using Advanced Chairside Suction For a Safer Dental Practice
You may know advanced chairside suction as the small vacuum-like instrument that your dental hygienist uses throughout your cleaning or treatment to soak up any saliva so it doesn’t build up and splatter. It is attached to an evacuation system that can remove a volume of air up to 100 cubic feet per minute and effectively minimize the formation of aerosol plumes.
Research shows that these chairside suction devices can effectively reduce the presence of aerosolized illnesses, such as COVID-19, and prevent the spread of infections, germs, and bacteria within dental offices. In fact, studies show that these instruments can reduce 90 to 98 percent of aerosols, even before they leave the mouth.
Now more than ever, it’s important to visit a dentist who is equipped with the latest technology in order to prioritize your health and safety. When you see a dentist with advanced chairside suction, you’ll be able to rest-assured that you won’t accidentally become sick, because you’ll know they’re taking the necessary precautionary measures.
About the Author
Dr. Tyler Aten has completed a General Practice Residency at St. Francis Hospital where he received advanced training in a variety of dental services. He has also attained certification in specialties including sedation, Invisalign, and dental implants. He always prioritizes his patients’ health and safety, which is why he has implemented a variety of new protocols in response to the emergence of COVID-19. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Green Mountain Dental’s website or call 802-863-3950.