BOFA International publishes aerosol extraction guide for dental settings

August 5, 2020

BOFA International has published a detailed guidance paper for dental practices comparing the effectiveness and limitations of multiple aerosol extraction methods.

Airborne filtration and extraction company BOFA International has published a detailed guidance paper for dental practices comparing the effectiveness and limitations of multiple aerosol extraction methods.

The paper considers the hierarchy of controls at a time when the dental industry is looking at measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure for staff and patients. This methodology is used widely across industries to assess the impact of changes in working practices and the introduction of technology that can minimize exposure to hazards, BOFA International (BI) said in a statement.

In dentistry, this includes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing engineering solutions (such as extractors) to provide the safest possible working environment.

“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,” said Luke Ziolkowski, a business development manager at BI. “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.”

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 localized extraction.

Viruses, such as the 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 procedures. Within a dental 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, BI’s statement read.

The paper is available to download by visiting, bofainternational.com/en/your-industry/dental/.