The best way to remove aerosols created by dental procedures is to create a stream of air focused close to the source. Source capture as it’s known is more efficient since we’re pulling a concentrated source of contaminants. Each unit of air that you are paying for “works harder” in this manner.

From this point, there are 2 choices: exhaust the air, or recirculate it. Here’s a list of pros/cons for each system.

 PROCON
ExhaustNo worries about viral and other contaminants being spread inside
Exhausts conditioned air
Requires Installation
Very Quiet
Can be designed with lots of airflow to provide a purge between patients
RecirculationRequires expensive HEPA filters
More expensive
No Installation Required

The system shown below exhausts to the outdoors.

Typical Aerosol Exhaust System Installed in Attic or Interstitial Space (click image to expand)

Let’s go through the parts starting from the intake (left to right):

  • Intake cone: A plastic cone to pull aerosol from around the patient’s mouth
  • Self supporting flex duct: Typically a 4″ diameter flexible duct that “self supports” – holds its last position
  • Thimble: This is just a neat way to allow the inside duct to be removed and cleaned without system disassembly
  • Flexible insulated duct: This duct has a plastic liner and can be easily installed
  • Filter box: The CFB-6-OS contains a prefilter and a MERV15 filter. Even though we’re exhausting outdoors, it’s good practice to remove most of the particulates. The MERV15 filter is in the range of a N95 face mask.
  • Inline fan: We really like this powerful fan that is capable of high static pressure (sucking ability) and high flow (CFM or cubic feet per minute). The fan can be adjusted for flow for two modes: a) Patient aerosol removal b) Room purge between patients [VERY USEFUL AND PROBABLY WILL BE CODE MANDATED]

References

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