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Measurement of particles in dental surgeries

The need

During the ‘first wave’ of the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to reduce patient exposure to the virus, it was recommended that dentists allow a 60 min between-patient fallow time. This resulted in a significantly reduced patient throughput, negatively impacting patient experience and the efficiency of dentist surgeries.  

The impact

To address this and guide recommendations for fallow time between patients, we performed a study into particle emissions during aerosol generating procedures in dental surgeries. Our study strongly contributed to a body of evidence that the fallow time could be reduced to as little as 10 minutes. This reduction in fallow time was accepted and recommended by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) who were acting on behalf of the UK nations. This significantly increased patient throughput, improving dental health and increasing the chances of early intention of diseases such as oral cancer.