Q: I read that the Covid 19 virus can linger in the air and on surfaces for hours if not days. How could it possibly be safe for me to go to a dental office?
A: After all this hoopla with cleaning surfaces, hand sanitizing, etc. The CDC last week released a statement: “Virus not easily transmittable from touching surfaces.” Are you kidding?! And to top it off, Dr. Faucci stated in an interview that the “mask is symbol” at this point. (Basically, it reminds others you are making an attempt to not spread your germs to others and they should too.)
I feel like we are all in a giant experiment and we are the white rats running around the maze all for a pellet of gruyere cheese. I’m all for the mask thing when you can’t be six feet away from others, but I still don’t get why wide open spaces such as beaches and parks were closed when we were limited to staying amongst our family members and groups under ten people.
Check with your dental office to see if they have invested in extraoral suction units that completely remove the aerosol spray emanating from patient’s mouths.
Normally while being drilled or ultrasonically cleaned, you will have the slow speed suction tube, bent like a question mark and the high speed suction tube, a straight pipe, in your mouth sucking up the aerosol vapor which consists of saliva, water and blood (depending on the procedure.)
Extraoral suctions look like the business end of a vacuums cleaner with a clear funnel shaped attachment outside the mouth, sucking all the extra aerosol spraying out of your mouth. The aerosol is decontaminated as it goes through four layers of particle, HEPPA and UV filters. (Just Google Extraoral Suction and click on “Videos”. You will find some truly compelling videos that made me and hopefully other doctors in my field to invest thousands of dollars in purchasing these awesome machines.)
There are a couple of scientific studies that show 99.97% of the aerosol is removed, resulting in zero growth of microbes on petri dishes.
This will also allow your hygienist to go back to using the ultrasonic scaler in addition to hand scaling, resulting in better stain and tartar removal; the direct cause of periodontal disease and bad breath.
We look forward to providing this extra technology in patient safety.