Infection control has never been more critical to the health of a dental office in keeping both patients and dental team members safe. The dental profession ranked as the #1 most unhealthy profession by a U.S. Department of Labor study due to exposure to disease contaminants, disease, infections, and radiation.
The dental professional is especially vulnerable to exposures to contaminants, disease and infections; most noticeably, fine and ultra-fine particulate matter. This matter includes harmful bio-aerosol particles that are capable of reaching the deepest part of human lungs; and absorbed into the blood stream with significant impact to overall health. The air quality of a dental office is not visible yet contains unhealthy and often infectious airborne particulate which results from practicing dentistry. Bio-aerosols from the use of ultrasonic instruments along with cleaning and disinfection of contact surfaces adds to increasing the unhealthiness of indoor air of dental offices.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought indoor air quality into the spotlight, as dental professionals have been extremely affected by closedown mandates and reopen procedures.
I – UV FOR THE OFFICE DISINFECTION
Studies have confirmed that UVC light is an effective addition to manual cleaning efforts and can kill harmful pathogens quickly and efficiently. Exposure to UVC light for a specific length of time and intensity kills dangerous microorganisms. The American Journal of Infection Control notes that combining UVC technology with manual cleaning is one of the most effective ways to significantly decrease the pool of harmful pathogens that cause infection.
UV unit delivers an ultra-fast and effective UVC dose for killing harmful pathogens without having to be moved or positioned with each use. The wall-mounted system or tabletop device enables rooms to be disinfected between patient cases in as little as 5 minutes.
UV light technology has been used in large health-care facilities with success, and as dentists search for ways to disinfect their offices during the pandemic, some are finding that UVc sanitizers are a good option.
What is UVc sterilization technology, and how can ultraviolet light kill germs? According to an article on the Verilux website, “UVC light sanitizer acts by penetrating the thin wall of a small microscopic organism and destroying its nucleic acids. This disrupts the DNA structure and either kills it or renders it unable to reproduce, and therefore harmless. As a result, the use of UVc light to sanitize and kill germs has many applications.”1. Broadly stated, the big benefit is that UVc has been shown in rigorous testing to kill bugs and viruses.
How can dentists know if their system is working correctly? Thin Air Energy created a device that measures the effectiveness of UVc sanitizers called the Geiger UVc. It shows field strength, and when significant dose levels are realized. If the user waves a UVc wand over Geiger, it will show the field strength via an LED array. It will then show when a particular dosing level has been realized by illuminating another LED. If the user waves a non-functional UVc wand over Geiger, it will immediately show that no UVc energy is being received.
Recently, an innovative way to eliminate airborne microbial populations was found through interfering with parts of microbial DNA.
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is a sterilization method commonly used in hospitals and medical settings to destroy airborne microorganisms. UVGI is most often utilized as a lamp in the operating room for air purification or a lighted box for toothbrush sterilization. This method of sterilization has increased due to its efficacy and ease of use—only lasting a 15-minute duration and typically costing two cents per cycle. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation has been used for many sterilization efforts since the mid-20th century, but recently has been used for air sanitization as well as the sterilization of equipment, instruments, operating room2 and toothbrush disinfection.
II – OZONE FOR THE OFFICE DISINFECTION
Ozone generators: cause a chemical reaction with gaseous pollutants
Many cities in the U.S. and around the world use ozone to sterilize public water systems, and ozone is commonly used to sterilize fruits, vegetables, and bottled water and soft drinks.
Ozone has long been used as a water disinfectant due to its reliable oxidation quality with regard to chemical, organic and biological impurities. It is suitable for reducing bacterial contamination in dental water. As a result of its potency as an oxidizing agent ozone is a suitable candidate for the reduction of bacterial, endotoxic and organic contamination.
III – Hospital grade disinfectants to clean floor and surfaces b/w the patients
1) – Cavicide
2) – Lemoside