THE BANE OF INDOOR AIR QUALITY AT DENTAL CLINIC
Dentists, dental assistants and lab technicians are some of the most unhealthy jobs in the world due to high levels of indoor pollution. Not only are dental offices high-traffic spaces, where patients are sources of air pollution due to exfoliation of particles such as the dangerous Staphylococcus aureus, the importance of aerosols and mercury vapor management are also often neglected. The nature of work is such that patients can’t afford to wear a mask over their mouth during diagnosis or surgery, which results in microbes and viruses remaining airborne in the chamber for hours on end. As a result, both the staff in the clinic and patients are in the firing line of transmission of infectious airborne particles between dentists and their patients.
SOURCES OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION
Oral activity of patients produces large amounts of particles and splattering, which can have several pathogenic microorganisms. These droplets contain microbes from the saliva, blood and subgingival fluids and can remain suspended in the air for up to six hours, which spikes the risk of cross-infection for dental care professionals, as evidenced by greater prevalence of respiratory diseases among them.
Ultrasonic instruments and the constant requirement to disinfect surfaces can worsen the indoor air further because they are known to create bio-aerosols. Coupled with ultra-fine particles, these bio-aerosols can go into the lungs or slip into the bloodstream and potentially cause respiratory illnesses among dental professionals and patients.
Dental offices have a robust air-conditioning and heating system. However, air conditioners are especially known to circulate foul air throughout the day, which is counter-effective because bacteria, viruses and all sorts of airborne pollutants continue to linger on in the air for hours on end.
One of the occupational hazards of dental professionals are poor-quality surgical masks. Neither are the filters in the mask robust enough and nor are the edges around the nose designed to stave off the often-infectious submicron particles.
Patients can exhale fine droplets, which can spread up to 160 feet, making dental offices a fertile ground for unwanted microbes. There’s also Staphylococcus aureus to contend with. As you are well aware, Staph infections can be serious and even fatal for people with diabetes, lung infections, vascular diseases etc.because it can enter the bloodstream or even lungs.
Removal of amalgam fillings can produce mercury vapors. While large amounts of mercury is known to be poisonous, research studies remain conflicted over the potency of mercury overdose in dental offices. However, it remains a bone of contention and there is a need to err on the side of caution.
In addition, metal casting and porcelain baking are known to emit harmful gases and vapors. Methyl methacrylate monomer, which generates polymer PMMA, is the most risky chemical as it is known to be both a fire hazard and health hazard that can seriously affect the liver and kidneys.
HOW TO TACKLE INDOOR POLLUTION IN DENTAL CARES
Air Purifiers are known to effectively eliminate indoor pollutants, airborne allergens, and bacterial-, fungal- and viral-infected droplets.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN AN AIR PURIFIER DESIGNED FOR DENTAL CARES
While there are many filters used in air purifiers, there are some that are more relevant for dental cares.Activated Carbon Filter
This filter works on the principle of adsorption, where gaseous pollutants react chemically with the activated carbon and sticks to the filter. As a result, this filter effectively blocks harmful chemicals and gases such as chemical vapors, methyl methacrylate monomer etc.HEPA Filter
A HEPA filter is always used in combination with an activated carbon filter to achieve highly-efficient air filtration. Our medical-grade HEPA 13 is the most efficient filter for people suffering from allergies and asthma. It has proven to remove an incredible 99.97% of airborne irritants that are as small as 0.3 microns.Ultraviolet
The ultraviolet filters are a game-changer. This new technology uses ultraviolet light to incinerate bacteria passing through it.Photo Catalyst Filter
These filters contain titanium dioxide. They purify the air with the help of UV light. When the UV light shines upon the titanium dioxide electrons, the electrons start interacting with water molecules and form hydroxyl radicals. The hydroxyl radicals then attack the larger organic pollutant molecules and turn them into harmless substances like water.Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP)
The ESP filter helps in removing fine particles like dust and smoke. It works by forcing the dirty gas to pass through two electrodes. The first electrode is charged to a negative voltage and the second electrode is charged to a positive voltage. As the dust particles move through the first electrode, they pick up a negative charge. Then, when they move towards the positive charged electrode, the dust and soot particles stick to the positive electrode because opposite charges attract each other.
INTRODUCING OUR i-CLUSTER TECHNOLOGY WITH MULTISTAGE FILTRATION
Air Purifiers eliminate indoor pollutants and return the air quality to safer levels.
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