Reducing the risk of aerosol contamination

aerosol contaminationEMS Dental highlights how dental practices can reduce the risk of aerosol contamination from the coronavirus.

We have always known that unchecked dental aerosols can present a health risk. The new coronavirus strain has added an extra dimension. We can detect the virus in the area of the mouth, nose and throat.

Of course, almost all dental instruments used in common treatments generate aerosols; low- and high-speed handpieces, turbines, sonic and ultrasonic devices, air water syringes, and air polishing devices.

Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT), the systematic, predictable solution for dental biofilm management in professional prophylaxis uses cutting-edge air flow technologies, which also generates aerosols.

However, there are measures that can reduce risks to team members and patients alike.

Staying safe

Wearing the right PPE is key to keeping both staff and patients safe. So the correct use of mouth-nose protection masks, goggles, and face-shields, as well as the efficient and safe sterilisation of instruments, is mandatory.

For example, Airflow and Piezon handpieces and all instruments (PS) should be sterilised after each treatment. The surface disinfection and regular rinsing of the suction system are further obligatory measures.

Izzetti et al (2020) strongly recommend good ventilation of the treatment rooms after each patient. Indeed, the use of a high-vacuum suction system with a suction volume of at least 300 l/min, in combination with an optimal saliva ejector, can effectively reduce aerosol formation (Graetz et al, 2014; Reitemeier et al, 2010).

In addition, four-handed dentistry allows optimal suction (Meng, Hua and Bian, 2020). When working two-handed for professional mechanical biofilm removal, a skilled suction technique with a high vacuum suction in combination with Optragate supports reduction of aerosols very well.

Further information is available at Here, Marcel Donnet and Faye Donald talk about aerosols and suction techniques in their respective webinars.

Some suggest that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at a minimum concentration of 0.5% or more is proven to effectively kill viruses (Caruso et al, 2020; Mentel et al, 1977).

The new coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2, will be with us for a long time – and so will biofilm. We hope that you will soon be able to offer your patients a good feeling with the EMS Guided Biofilm Therapy.

If you would like further details about how EMS Dental can support dental professionals in the UK moving forward, please visit


Caruso AA, Del Prete A, Lazzarino AI, Capaldi R and Grumetto L (2020) May hydrogen peroxide reduce the hospitalization rate and complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection? Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 22: 1-5

Graetz C, Bielfeldt J, Tillner A, Plaumann A and Dörfer CE (2014) Splatter contamination in dental practices – how can it be prevented? Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi 118(4): 1122-34

Izzetti R, Nisi M, Gabriele M and Graziani F (2020) COVID-19 Transmission in Dental Practice: Brief Review of Preventive Measures in Italy. J Dent Res 17: 22034520920580

Meng L, Hua F and Bian Z (2020) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Emerging and Future Challenges for Dental and Oral Medicine. J Dent Res 99(5): 481-7

Mentel R, Shirrmakher R, Kevich A, Dreĭzin RS and Shmidt I (1977) Virus inactivation by hydrogen peroxide. Vopr Virusol (6): 731-3

Reitemeier B, Jatzwauk L, Jesinghaus S, Reitemeier C and Neumann K (2010) Effektive Reduktion des Spraynebel- Rückpralls – Möglichkeiten und Grenzen. ZMK 662-673

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