A Few Words about Controlling Aerosols

Controlling aerosols in the dental office is one of the important steps we take every day with every patient to limit the possibility of COVID19 virus transmission. (You can find a summary of many of the steps we take to protect our patients and our staff here.) covid-fogging - pixabay cco free - 19-5010565 640


Much COVID19 research indicates that human saliva is one of the most common ways that COVID19 is transmitted from person to person. In many contexts, the saliva is dispersed when we speak, cough or sneeze. Tests have shown that these aerosols can carry Coronavirus germs for six feet or more. Hence, the social distancing recommendations from the CDC.


Some aerosols are created and released or dispersed during dental procedures. We want you to understand what we do to protect our patients and our team. Here are the primary steps:

  1. Patients use two rinses that kill COVID19 germs in the mouth.

  2. When polishing teeth, we use limited low-speed polishers. 

  3. We thoroughly clean each operatory after each patient.

  4. We fog the office 3 times daily to kill airborne particles.

  5. We use Isolite on all restorative procedures, trying to limit aerosols as much as possible.

  6. Clinicians’ gowns are changed between every patient so as to not spread any aerosols.

  7. We are wearing KN95 masks under a level 3 mask under a face shield.

  8. As many surfaces as possible are draped in disposable plastic to remove aerosols.

  9. The reception room has been rearranged and patient waiting time is limited to provide social distancing..

  10. Air flow in dental operatories has been redirected to cleanse the air in a HEPA-UVC air cleaner. 

But what is Isolite? Many of our regular patients already know about Isolite because we integrated this technology into our office almost 10 years ago.  Isolite is a device that isolates a work area, provides suction, retraction, and light in a single device. This makes it easier to work inside your mouth and it protects your mouth from injury and from swallowing or inhaling any fluids or debris created during the procedure. Isolite meets the CDC recommendation that High-Velocity Evacuation (HVE) be used to reduce aerosols and spatter created during a procedure. Isolite provides “continuous intra-oral HVE suction to reduce aerosols up to 90% before they escape the patient's mouth.”