Now that most of our community members are returning to dentistry. I wanted to take a minute and update you all on some of the products I purchased and am currently implementing into my clinical care.
Medial Grade H13 Air Purifier:
The Science: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA filters) are known to capture dust, pollutants, microbes down to the size of 0.1 microns according to this study from NASA. (The report is complex but on page 7 the graph and the previous paragraph do a great job at explaining why HEPA filters are the most efficient- almost 100% at 0.01 micron-at capturing fine particles below 0.3 micron HEPA test standard.) Covid-19 has a particle size of 0.125 microns. (Source: National Library of Medicine.) As with most any other aspect of scientific research regarding COVID-19, there is not enough data to verify that HEPA filters are 100% effective since many microbes are less than 0.03 microns, however, consider that this size is that of an isolated form, in which they commonly can’t survive very long. Biologic aerosols from coughing or sneezing typically range from 0.5-3 microns in size. After doing some research, I decided to purchase H13 Medical-grade HEPA Air purifier manufactured by Medify Air. This model was ideal for my budget, operatory size, and level of ventilation. At this point, I feel like it can’t hurt given the lack of ventilation in my room.
Pros: Great at removing odors. Has blue backlighting on it that you can turn off if you wish. It has a quiet mode along with three other fan speeds. Filters are easy to order. A lifetime warranty is available.
Cons: On the highest speed it is a bit noisy. So far that is the only complaint I have. Let’s face it we are practically yelling at patients anyways due to doubling our masks and other PPE. LOL.
High Volume Evacuation attachment:
I am operating as recommended by the ADA as well at the Georgia Board of Dentistry. This includes limiting the production of aerosols. I hand scale whenever possible. There will be patients that you need the ultrasonic for treatment (given this is permissible by your state). In Georgia, we are discouraged from using ultrasonic scalers. IF you must use the USS four-handed dentistry is recommended with the HVE. Many of us do not have the luxury of an assistant. I know that there are so many options out there, it’s overwhelming. I found the xuction dental company, they offer a device that attaches into the HVE and anchors to lip retractors to help capture the aerosols at the mouth.
Pros: Funnel is safe for the autoclave. Stays securely in the HVE. Captures aerosols pretty well from what I can tell. I will try to get a clinical video in the future, there is one on the website. Made in the USA. About two weeks from order to door.
Cons: Lip retractors are not safe for the autoclave. Retractors must be disinfected in cold sterile. Mildly uncomfortable for the patient. I use vaseline to avoid cracked lips. I had the patient help support the HVE hose during use. God forbid that thing fall on the floor.
I wish you all the best in safely returning to your practices soon. Feel free to share tips and tricks with our community.