The use of high-speed drills or ultrasonic scalers can produce aerosols. Microbial aerosols and splatters are also generated during dental procedures. These aerosols are air-suspended liquid or solid molecules that contain bacteria, viruses, fungi, saliva, and blood. Aerosols produced during dental procedures not only reduce the IAQ but also pose a threat to the health of dental staff and are important sources of infection (Szymańska 2007; Bennett et al. 2000; Leggat et al. 2007).
IAQ assessment indicators include concentrations of CO2 (Li et al. 2001; Scheff et al. 2000), PM, TVOCs, bacteria (Liu et al. 2000), fungi, and viruses, as well as temperature and relative humidity (RH)
n one study, closed and isolated dental clinic rooms had high bacterial concentrations ((216 ± 75) CFU m−3 during scaling and (75 ± 22) CFU m−3 during fillings). The bacterial concentration after 2 h of dental treatment in isolation dental treatment room was the same as the background concentration of 12–14 CFU m−3 (Grenier 1995). In the same study, bacteria were detectable in all areas of an open clinic with multiple dental chairs. Peak bacterial concentrations were observed in the main treatment area after 3 h of dental treatment (76–114 CFU m−3), and the amount of bacteria in the non-treatment area (42 CFU m−3) remained higher than the background level. This shows that aerosols can spread and move through the air (Grenier 1995). All dental procedures, and particularly dental surgery, are intended to be performed in a sterile environment.
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