A science brief from the CDC, explains how respiratory viruses are transmitted in multiple ways:
- Contact: the infectious person spreads the infection through direct contact (e.g., touching during a handshake) or with an article or surface that has become contaminated.
- Droplet: respiratory droplets expose others to the infection. In other words, an infectious person exhales larger and smaller droplets. Transmission is most likely to occur when someone is close to the infectious person, generally within about 6 feet.
- Airborne: the infection is spread through exposure to those virus-containing respiratory droplets comprised of smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended in the air over long distances (usually greater than 6 feet) and time (typically hours).
It has been well established by the CDC that the principal mode by which people are infected with COVID-19 is through exposure to respiratory droplets. That is, most infections spread through close contact, not airborne transmission. However, the CDC further explains that also COVID-19 can be transmitted through airborne transmission in special circumstances:
- Enclosed spaces: An infectious person exposes people at the same time or people are exposed shortly after the infectious person had left the space.
- Prolonged exposure to respiratory particles, often generated with expiratory exertion (e.g., shouting, singing, exercising) that increased the concentration of suspended respiratory droplets in the air space.
- Inadequate ventilation or air handling that allows a build-up of suspended small respiratory droplets and particles.
The Importance of Clean Air in a Dental Office
There can be a wide variety of air pollutants within the dental office. As with any office, there are possible transmissions of viruses and bacteria from people interacting with each other. But in a dental office, there can be particles coming from instruments such as high-speed drills and ultrasonic equipment. These generate fine droplets and aerosol particles that are light enough to stay airborne for hours. Also, some treatments require the use of chemical compounds. These increase the risk of exposure to other harmful contaminants from the air. But don’t worry, we have got you covered.
Our Priority – Keeping our Staff and Patients Safe
Dentists have had safety policies and disinfectant practices for decades. A noteworthy point: The American Dental Association found in a study that less than 1% of dentists have contracted Covid 19. The study attributes this to our strict adherence to CDC guidelines. Our office here in Henderson, NV, has stepped up our procedures even more to ensure the safety of our staff and patients.
Installing the #1 Rated Air Purifier
We have installed the HealthPro Series Commercial Air Purifier. Here are some of its features:
Traps ultrafine particles
Ultrafine particles are smaller than 0.1 microns. To give you a comparison, a droplet of water is about 10 microns. These ultrafine particles make up about 90% of all airborne particles and have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and even cancer. IQAir’s HyperHEPA filtration filters 99.5% of all particles down to 0.003 microns – the smallest particles that exist.
You are our #1 priority. The systems we have put in place to combat COVID 19 we consider are investments in your safety.
Drs. Tyler Christensen and Ashley Anderson
Christensen Dental, Henderson, NV