If you were booked within the last week or so, you may have noticed something new about our uniforms. That's right, both Doctor Shirley and Doctor Kenny have Powered Air Purifying Respirators so that we can continue serving our community safely.
Does it get hot in there? Nope. You can't see it in this photo but on the back of the head cover, there is a long tube that travels to a battery-powered fan/HEPA filter pack - so there is air going inside and all the air going in is purified, clean and safe.
It's not worn for every dental procedure, but there are cases that would warrant this extra protection.
It may already be obvious to you, where all surfaces of a dental treatment room must be wiped, cleaned and disinfected before and after each patient. All instruments must be sterilized. And PPE (like gloves and face shields, etc) needs to be replaced between each patient (because of anything clinging to the protective equipment).
But what patients often forget about is the potential for contamination and spread of infectious diseases while the dentist is working on them. In dentistry, some treatment are considered 'aerosol-generating' procedures - and this means that viruses, bacteria, and pathogens from patient's mouth can be released into the air and transmission of disease can occur if proper personal protective equipment is not worn.
We use these PAPR for high-risk treatments - and it's worth mentioning that we are still actively screening for COVID-19 cases. It is the RCDSO (the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario) recommendation that if you have COVID-19, please do not book a dental appointment. The exception is - if you have a dental emergency, then of course book.