COVID-19 pandemic features as an unanticipated and an alarming event in human history. It has impacted millions of individuals across the globe.
In fact, its widespread consequences lead to a partial or a complete lockdown in many countries owing to its virucidal infection. Due to this, every operational niche is trying its best to improvise their services during this medical emergency.
The dental industry has its own distinctive way of tackling the situation at hand. As per healthcare research, aerosols and splatter generated during dental treatments are identified as one of the potent causes of COVID-19 disease.
This article elucidates the tackling dynamics of aerosols and splatter during dental treatment. It addresses the transformation of dentistry in the post COVID- 19 era and how dental practitioners maintain professional caution during these challenging times.
The Post COVID-19 Era
The post-COVID-19 has made orthodontists rethink over their current practice. Opening nearly 4 months of the shutting of their installations, it is time for dental practitioners to embrace the new normal.
To accomplish this, dental service providers need to plan and eventually pave the way for safe oral diagnosis and treatment. The primary considerations which dentistry adopts in the post-COVID-19 reopening phase include:
An ardent use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits while diagnosing and treating patients. This comprises premium quality breathable masks, gloves, gowns that must be worn while performing surgeries.
Maintaining adequate social distancing among patients, doctors, and other medical staff. To ensure this norm, the dentists have improvised the structural face of their clinic in order to adhere to the pertinent precautionary measures.
Other significant measures include telephonic health screening, the examination of body temperatures via contactless infrared thermometers, checking oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeters, etc.
However, despite the aforementioned practices, there still exists a chance of viral infection with the presence of asymptomatic patients. Therefore, the dental facility needs to be extra cautious while treating patients and ensure the hygiene of their clinic.
The Jeopardy of Aerosols and Splatter during Dental Treatment
The generation of aerosols and splatter stands inevitable during dental treatments. In fact, nearly all dental equipment including air-water syringes, sonic and ultrasonic devices such as scalers and airotors generate aerosols.
These tiny sized splatter (> than 50 um in diameter) and aerosols (< 50 um in diameter) contain viruses, bacteria, and fungi within their diametrical structures. Furthermore, these fungal particles have the ability to remain suspended for almost 3 hours within the atmosphere.
Next, the presence of pathogens within aerosol particles can cause viral infections in individuals. Also, factors such as kind of pathogen, its frequency of exposure, and the dose of infection impact its extent of contamination in people.
How to Treat the Menace of Aerosols and Splatter
Dental practitioners need to consider the following precautions while treating infectious aerosols and splatter:
Wearing proper PPE kits.
Using rubber dams with a high vacuum suction system.
The suction volume of this high vacuum system should range between 250-300l/minute.
Assuring pre-procedural mount rinse which is composed of 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% of Povidone Iodine.
Using this rubber suction system could be uncomfortable during your initial practice. However, you will surely get used to it and benefit from its multi-fold efficiency. Moreover, a dentist can easily evacuate blood-filled oral cavities from splatter through this high-volume suction procedure.
Next, the close dimensional proximity of dental chairs in a clinic and inadequate cross-ventilation system are yet other causes of the spread of viral infection.
The Next Steps
As the pandemic is still on its peak, dentists must ensure their safety from COVID-19 infection. For this, they must make significant investments in mandatory equipment and protect themselves from this contagious disease.
Some of the paramount safety measures which dentists must adhere to are as follows:
Proper sanitization of all corners of the clinic.
Frequent use of liquid hand sanitizers or sanitized wipes to ensure cleanliness and hygiene.
Following all disinfection protocols such as the fumigation of the entire clinic
Use of sterile pouches for autoclaving.
Scheduling distant appointments so that no two patients visit clash with each other.
Selecting treatment and diagnostic procedures which give favorable outcomes.
Prioritizing the safety of your family, staff, and patients instead of revenue generation.
In short, the presence of this inevitable virus has become a part and parcel of our daily life. Therefore, you need to acknowledge its presence and make sure to protect yourself and your patients from its clutches.
For this, you must supplement ethical and moral grounds to your dental practice and let not fear hamper your mindset. In other words, welcome the ongoing transformations and embrace the new normal for the betterment of everyone.
Log in to https://zepnurhealth.com/ to place an order for healthcare and safety products for your dental clinic. ZEPNURhealth facilitates easy and comfortable procurement of medical and dental equipment and affordable prices.
Browse through our website for more details and information on our products. Stay safe!