What is an Aerosol Evacuation System, and what does it do?
The covid-19 virus is about the size of .12 microns. And when it’s in an aerosol, it sits on top of a water droplet that’s about three microns. The aerosol evacuation system basically suctions up the aerosol and passes it through three different HEPA filters. It then goes through a UV light and clean air is expelled out the back side of the unit.
What does the Aerosol Evacuation System look like?
The unit looks almost like a big shop vacuum with a fancy tube on it and it goes in front of the patient’s mouth while we’re working on them.
Because we are generating aerosols when performing dentistry on a patient, and because Covid is so small, you need special HEPA filters to be able to suction up the virus and keep not only the surrounding patients healthy, but your staff as well.
Weren’t you using safety measures like this prior to COVID?
Everything that we were doing prior to COVID was pretty much preventing any chronic cross contamination. But because we now have this aerosolized virus, you really want to keep it down in the office.
Years ago I had HEPA filters and UV lights installed inside the air conditioning system. And now, not only do we have that, but we also have in each of the rooms medical grade HEPA filters that will catch anything that doesn’t go through the big aerosol evacuator.
What sort of noise does the Aerosol Evacuation System make?
I’m used to it being nice and quiet in the office and the unit can seem fairly loud to me.
The machinery itself is not very big, but yet it stays in the same room, which is going to obviously create the noise.
How do you control the noise for the patient should it make them anxious?
Some people bring their own music, and other people like the noise. I had one of the patients say that it was a soothing sound to him. Like white noise. I mean, everybody’s different. To me, it sounds like a typical shop vac.
Any other comments on implementing the Aerosol Evacuation System?
I know that in order for us to keep going and keep my patients, my staff and myself healthy, we have to go above and beyond. And we’ll likely continue to use the Air Evacuation System during flu season every year, and as needed.