SARS-CoV-2: characterisation and mitigation of risks associated with aerosol generating procedures in dental practices
Evans, David G
Jenkinson, Ian D
Evans, Philip A
Vadgama, Vijay J
Introduction: The objectives were to characterise the particle size distribution of aerosols generated by standard dental aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and to assess the impact of aerosol-management interventions on 'fallow time'. Interventions included combinations of high-volume intraoral suction (HVS[IO]), high-volume extraoral suction (HVS[EO]) and an air cleaning system (ACS). Method: A sequence of six AGPs were performed on a phantom head. Real-time aerosol measurements (particle size range 0.0062-9.6 μm) were acquired from six locations within a typical dental treatment room (35 m3). Results The majority (>99%) of AGP particles were <0.3 μm diameter and remained at elevated levels around the dental team during the AGPs. With no active aerosol-management interventions, AGP particles were estimated to remain above the baseline range for up to 30 minutes from the end of the sequence of procedures. Conclusions: The results emphasise the importance of personal protection equipment, particularly respiratory protection. Use of HVS(IO), either alone or in combination with the ACS, reduced particle concentrations to baseline levels on completion of AGPs. These data indicate potential to eliminate fallow time. The study was performed using a phantom head so confirmatory studies with patients are required.