The study, “Mechanisms of atomization from rotary dental instruments and its mitigation,” published in the Journal of Dental Research (JDR), found that there are multiple mechanisms for atomization of fluids from rotatory instruments and that parameters can be controlled to modify key spray characteristics during the current crisis.
Using high-speed imaging and laser light-sheet illumination, procedural sprays were studied with variables including rotation speed, burr to tooth contact, and coolant pre-misting. Elimination of pre-misting (mixing of coolant water and air prior to burr contact) and use of relatively low rotation speeds resulted in a significant reduction in small droplets. Cutting efficiency was reduced, but sufficient coolant effectiveness appeared to be maintained.
“This research demonstrates that spray from dental instruments can be controlled without losing the ability to carry out dental treatment,” said JDR Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Jakubovics. “Being able to modify the spray creates a safer experience for patients and oral health care providers during this current pandemic.”