| FAQ - Practice Safety/Patient Safety - Archived Through 2012
Do ultrasonic scalers present special infection control considerations?
Each time you use the ultrasonic scaler, high-speed handpiece, or an air/water syringe, aerosols are created. Aerosols are the invisible particles that can remain airborne for a long while. Aerosolization is one of the main contributors to airborne microorganisms in the operatory. By diminishing aerosolization, you also reduce the microbial load in the air and the risk of cross-contamination or exposure.
To best manage aerosolization:
Use high-volume evacuation (HVE).
Use a dental dam whenever possible.
Use personal protective equipment, such as disposable gowns and face shields (in combination with face mask).
Have each patient use a pre-procedure mouthrinse to reduce the microbial dose load in any aerosol generated.