Whether you ate too many sugary snacks or chipped a tooth while biting your nails anxiously, there are plenty of reasons why you may need dental care after quarantine. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, it’s essential to look for a “safe dentist near me.” Since the new coronavirus is so easily spread from person to person, dental professionals are using a wide variety of extra infection control protocols to keep their patients safe. One new installment you’ll notice at your next dental appointment is the low hum of HEPA filters. Read on to learn more about how these modern air purifiers help your Framingham dentist keep the air in their practice cleaner than ever.
How Does COVID-19 Spread in a Dental Practice?
We know that COVID-19 is transmitted when infected respiratory droplets come in contact with a person’s mouth, nose, or eyes. While this means it can be easily spread wherever people are in close proximity, there are extra complications when it comes to keeping a dental practice germ-free. To protect themselves from splashes of spittle that may be produced while administering dental care, your dentist wears masks, goggles, and face shields. However, many dental treatments generate aerosols, which could allow infected particles to spread farther and linger in the air longer. Thankfully, a HEPA filter can help!
What is a HEPA Filter & How Does It Work?
A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is designed to remove small, irritating, and harmful particles from the air. It works by sucking in the air around it and forcing it through a mesh. This mesh is fine enough to catch pollen, mold, pet dander, dust, tobacco smoke, and bacteria. The newly cleaned air is then released while the filter entraps the harmful particles until it is removed and replaced with a clean filter. HEPA filters are not usually used to remove viruses from the air since they are typically too small. However, recent research from the Journal of Infectious Diseases indicates that proper air filtration can reduce the risk of transmission of measles an influenza.
Do HEPA Filters Prevent Catching COVID-19?
When a person sick with COVID-19 sneezes, coughs, or talks, studies report that the infected respiratory droplets can spread about six feet before falling from the air. However, many dental treatments generate aerosols, which can spread infected particles much farther and allow them to linger in the air for hours at a time. HEPA filters are designed to easily trap particles that are 0.3 microns, but the coronavirus is roughly 0.1 microns and too small to be caught in the mesh. However, health experts believe that the infected respiratory droplets and aerosols that contain COVID-19 are large enough to become trapped by HEPA filters, which would prevent the spread of germs.
Remember, the best way to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 is to practice social distancing and regular handwashing. Nonetheless, your dentist is taking every precaution to keep you and your smile as healthy as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.
About the Practice
The practice of Framingham Family Dental Care has always met and exceeded the sanitation standards of the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To ensure we are maintaining a clean, germ-free environment for our patients, we have added 24 additional infection control protocols. Our aim is to add peace-of-mind to the excellent dental care you’ve come to expect from us. If you’d like to learn more about our Commitment to Safety, please contact us via our website or at (508) 626-2402.