Ways to Reduce COVID-19 Risks in Dental Offices

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Some dentists already knew that adding 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone offered the potential benefit of mild antiseptics, leading to the idea that adding the peroxide compound to dental instruments’ water supply could reduce COVID-19 virus spreading through dental procedures.



For this study, researchers tested how the spray produced by a common ultrasonic scaler device is changed by adding hydrogen peroxide to the device’s water supply.

First, they measured the droplet sizes and velocities emitted by the tip of a free-standing ultrasonic dental scaler and then compared using pure water and different hydrogen peroxide concentrations in the tool’s water supply line.

The results showed that the addition of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide affects the droplet size and the ejection velocities in ways that offer data-driven guidelines for mitigating the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

According to the researchers, adding the hydrogen peroxide to the ultrasonic scaler water stream should reduce infection risk because the number of small droplets from the patient’s mouth is reduced or eliminated.

Though researchers did not test droplets that contained the virus, they hypothesize that the probability of any virus in a patient’s mouth surviving is reduced by the hydrogen peroxide solution.

In larger doses, hydrogen peroxide may be harmful, however, the 1.5% solution is safe and was being used by some dentists during the pandemic.

Further research would be necessary to find the actual pathogen load of the droplets (which depends on interactions of the ejected fluid with oral tissues and teeth), the corresponding liquid properties, and the role of the dental device’s movement around the mouth plays in droplet airborne COVID-19 dispersion.

Source: Medindia



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