New research suggests that reducing the speeds of dental drills can lower the spread of aerosols in the practice setting, thus lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission during treatment.
The Imperial and King’s College London team measured and analysed aerosol generation throughout dental procedures and recommended that dental professionals accurately control and choose drill rotation speeds to reduce transmission risk. Moreover, the team also suggest using tools that only use water as a coolant.
“New research suggests reducing the speeds of dental drills can reduce COVID-19 transmission.“
In addition, the researchers discovered parameters that would enable staff to carry out specific treatments, but with sixty times less aerosol droplets compared to standard instrumentation.
King’s College London Faculty of Dentistry’s Professor, Owen Addison, co-author on the study, stated: “This important work describes the basic mechanisms that lead to the features of dental aerosols that we currently consider to be high risk. This has enabled us to choose drill parameters to keep our patients and the dental team safe at this difficult time. We cannot provide every procedure because slowing our drills is much less efficient. But we now have the basis to do more than we have done in the last 6 months.”