BOFA, specialists in airborne contaminant extraction, has published a detailed guidance paper for dental clinics comparing the effectiveness and limitations of multiple aerosol extraction methods.
The paper considers the hierarchy of control at a time when dental surgeries are looking at measures to minimise risk for staff and patients from Covid-19. This methodology is used widely across industries to assess the impact of changes in working practices and the introduction of technology that can minimise exposure to hazards.
In the case of the dental sector, this includes the use of PPE and implementing engineering solutions (such as an extractor) to provide the safest possible working environment.
Luke Ziolkowski, business development manager at BOFA, commented: “While it is common practice for dental clinicians to wear PPE, this only mitigates some of the risk of transmission in the case of viruses and does not provide total protection to the wearer. This new paper looks at what can be done to prevent aerosols reaching surfaces, equipment and the breathing zones of the dental staff by diverting, capturing and containing aerosols.”
Viruses such as coronavirus spread primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or via aerosols created during dental examination and procedure. Within a dental clinic setting, aerosols can remain airborne for a long time and may be transported over long distances in airflows, causing contamination in areas beyond the patient’s immediate vicinity.
The paper compares the effectiveness of direct aerosol capture at patient source with other methods, including PPE, room scrubbers, HVAC, push/pull airblade barriers and localised extraction.
The paper is available to download via the BOFA website: www.bofainternational.com/en/your-industry/dental/