New biological safety air curtain device makes dental surgery safer

2021-12-15 00:52:44 By : Mr. Darcy Jiang

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National Institute of Dental Research of Singapore

Researchers at Singapore's National Dental Research Institute (NDRIS) have developed a new device designed to limit the spread of aerosols generated during dental surgery, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 cross-contamination in the dental environment. The innovation is called Aeroshield and uses air curtain technology to create an air barrier to isolate the aerosol produced in the patient's mouth from the dentist.

Developed for the safety of dentists

The development of Aeroshield fully considers the safety of the dentist. Dentists and their assistants work close to the patient’s mouth and perform many aerosol-generating procedures. The risk of being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (causing COVID-19) through cross-contamination is usually very high.

Contaminated aerosols can move one meter horizontally and half a meter vertically. According to a 2020 survey of 669 dentists from 30 countries/regions, 87% of respondents are afraid of contracting SARS-CoV-2 virus through dental surgery, 66% of respondents want to close dental clinics, 92 % Of respondents worry about bringing the infection back to their family members.

“During Singapore’s circuit breaker in 2020, as dentists can only visit emergency departments, the patient attendance rate has dropped by 35% to 60%. Even after the circuit breaker has gradually resumed dental services, many patients still postpone their visits to the dentist due to fear of COVID-19 Risk", shared by Goh Bee Tin, Chief Researcher of the Aeroshield Project and Director of NDRIS, Associate Clinical Professor. "Because Aeroshield significantly reduces the amount of aerosol pollution, even for other diseases transmitted by droplets, patients can get more assured dental care, and dentists have better opportunities for financial sustainability," she said.

The idea of ​​reusing the air curtain, Aeroshield is practical and easy to set up and operate. It uses a plug-and-play system, and the dentist can simply connect it to the dental chair and the air compressor outlet. It has a stylish and practical design without any modification to the existing dental room equipment, nor any movable internal components or consumables.

The air curtain is guided as an air jet used as a barrier to prevent pollution between adjacent environments without the use of physical structures. This ensures that the existing clinical workflow will not be interrupted, and the user will not feel any discomfort even if an additional barrier is used. The generated aerosol is then redirected by the air curtain and removed by a large-capacity aspirator, which is currently used in routine dental practice. According to existing infection prevention and control practices, a simple wipe is sufficient to disinfect the dental room.

In addition to dentistry, Aeroshield may also be suitable for other doctors who are at high risk of exposure to aerosols, such as ophthalmologists, ENT and anesthesiologists.

In an efficacy evaluation test, it was found that the most contaminated areas by the dentist were often the chest and lower right arm, and even the inner surface of the dental assistant's mask. After installing Aeroshield, the results showed that pollution in these same areas was reduced by as much as five times. In particular, the use of Aeroshield can reduce the contamination on the top inner surface of the dental mask by about three times, and the contamination on the inner and outer surfaces of the top and bottom of the dental assistant mask by about 5 times.

"We are very excited about Aeroshield and our next step will be to further improve its shape and efficacy. We also hope to cooperate with industry participants to jointly develop and commercialize this technology so that dentists all over the world can benefit from it. Safe working environment," Professor Wu said. Further explore the development of a collapsible tent by researchers to provide safe dental care during the pandemic. The National Institute of Dental Research in Singapore provides a citation: Safer dental surgery with a new biosafety air curtain device (2021, September 21) 2021 Retrieved news/2021-09-safer-dental-procedures-biosafety-air.html from on December 14th. This document is protected by copyright. Except for any fair transaction for private learning or research purposes, no part may be copied without written permission. The content is for reference only.

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