3 Ways to Protect Yourself From Aerosols as a Dental Professional

As COVID numbers shoot up across the nation AGAIN, it’s doubly important for medical professionals of all fields to maintain high levels of care around their patients. We know more now and can respond responsibly and appropriately to these spikes.

As the Geriatric Toothfairy, one of my focuses is keeping dental professionals trained on the best methods to keep their business safe.

Dentists and hygienists, in particular, are at high risk of infection from illness and disease due to the fact that they are exposed to aerosols more than most other medical professionals.

What Are Aerosols?

Aerosols are minuscule particles that are light enough to remain airborne for long periods of time and are produced during a lot of different dental operations.

These can pose a big danger to dental professionals as aerosols can very easily enter the respiratory system, even long after the patient is gone.

By following these 3 guidelines, you can help lessen the risk of infection for yourself and your staff.

1. Sterilize Often and Thoroughly

As dental professionals, we understand the importance of having sterilized instruments and clean examination rooms to keep ourselves and our clients safe.

When it comes to aerosols, it’s imperative to maintain that same level of sterilization everywhere in the workplace, especially high-traffic areas and high-contact surfaces. This includes door handles, furniture, writing utensils, bathroom fixtures, and anything else people come in a lot of contact with.

2. Wear Proper PPE

Saliva is incredibly dangerous when it comes to transmitting bacteria and disease so, as dental professionals, it’s critical for us to wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment) to maintain optimal protection.

Some PPE essentials are:

  • Eye protection, such as goggles or safety glasses
  • Surgical masks
  • PPE gowns, which are discarded after each patient visit
  • Facial protection, such as face shields
  • Disposable gloves, which are discarded often during and after each patient visit

 

3. Avoid Poorly Ventilated Areas

Crowded areas and areas with poor ventilation are hotbeds for disease or bacterial transmission.

Make sure any operating area you are performing work in has the least amount of people in it as possible and is well ventilated in order to ensure aerosols don’t proliferate or become trapped.

At the end of the day, after we take the scrubs off, we have partners, parents, and kids to come home to. We must stay healthy not just for our patients, but for ourselves and our families.

Educating and informing staff is essential in keeping everyone safe, and that is why providing certified training courses is an important service we can offer your team.

Our training courses are hands-on with your staff to ensure they’re ready to provide proper care to your clients.

By learning more about aerosols, we can all come together to lessen the risk of disease and, more importantly, stay safe.