Ultrasonic Scaler Use and Aerosol
Brooke Agado, RDH, BS
Featuring the clinical work of Elena Francisco, RDH*, as well as Brooke Agado, RDH, BS
Ultrasonic scalers are an essential and widely used instrument in the administration of dental hygiene care. Research shows that significant amounts of contaminated aerosols are generated during ultrasonic scaling, including blood and pathogenic bacteria. These contaminated aerosols remain suspended in the air for up to thirty minutes following ultrasonic procedures, and, therefore, could potentially be aspirated or contaminate a variety of surfaces (eg, computer keyboards, clothing, charts). Approved methods for reducing and virtually eliminating potentially harmful aerosols include the use of high-volume evacuators (HVEs) and antimicrobial preoperative mouthrinses. This article reviews and summarizes findings from the literature concerning aerosols produced during ultrasonic scaling and the methods for reducing or eliminating potential exposure to contaminated aerosols.
After listening to this podcast, the listener should:
- See how ultrasonic scalers can be used in maintaining proper oral hygiene
- Understand proper methods for using an ultrasonic scaler
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