The use of extraction arms in dental offices is an essential part of a ventilation program to remove airborne toxins or pathogens before they have a chance to spread throughout a workspace. Existing building/room ventilation systems and personal protective equipment (PPE) that are in place can be augmented with the source capture collection of contaminated airstreams.
Dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and periodontists require close contact to perform some exams and procedures to maintain oral health. Technicians and hygienists performing cleaning and adjustments also could encounter various diseases. Beyond PPE like masks, face shields, and gloves, the use of extraction arms for source capture ventilation is one of several tools to use in the deterrent to the spread of airborne pathogens. The final effectiveness of contaminated air that is collected by the hood/exhaust arm is predicated on many factors including hood placement during the procedure, the technique applied, and room air movement caused by the in-place ventilation system.
Dental Office Airborne Pathogen Exhaust System
Dental office source capture extraction arm (s) positioned at each operatory, are ducted to an outside safe location with a negative pressure exhaust fan. The arm exhaust augments the in-place room ventilation system. Whereas the ventilation system provides the room with replacement outside air per building code, the source capture arm extracts contamination at its source.
Dental Extraction Arm Features and Options
Dental extraction arms feature a variety of options:
- 2, 3 and 4’’ diameter tubes with multiple arm length options
- Ceiling mountings in eight standard lengths, wall brackets, and flexible bench mounting
- Standard construction is polypropylene joints and tubes of anodized aluminum
- Specialty hoods available as a suction nozzle, metal hood, dome clear hood, shovel hood, or flat-screen hood
There is not a quick fix or one piece of equipment that when installed will ensure 100% clean safe air, with many variables needing to be considered as detailed by “ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols”. But, applying multiple ventilating processes will result in improved air quality in the workplace. Call us and we can relate how others have successfully addressed a source capture ventilation system.