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The Importance of Effective Ventilation in Dentist Practices

By Kira Jopp on Mon 05 July 2021

Why is ventilation important in dentist practices?

With people still having to attend dentist and orthodontist appointments during the pandemic, ventilation is more important than ever. Because of this the Chief Dental Officer of England has amended the requirements for fallow time and ventilation in dental practices.

Effective ventilation can be achieved by increasing the air changes by hour (ACH). The higher the ACH the shorter the fallow period will be.

Fallow Period:

A fallow period is the time needed for the clearance of the infectious particles after a procedure before decontamination of the room can be done.

This is important because it allows the virus droplets to settle and be removed from the air before cleaning begins, making the cleaning more effective and safer.

The new requirements are:

  1. For neutral pressure room dental surgeries:
    1. Windows should be opened and extractor fans that vent to the exterior should be used
    2. Recommended that the room is left vacant for one hour before cleaning is carried out (fallow period)
  2. For dental surgeries with ventilation systems:
    1. Systems should be set to provide the maximum amount of fresh air and air changes
    2. In a treatment room with 10-12 air changes per hour, a minimum fallow time of 20pr minutes is now considered sensible

    Solutions Airflow offer:

    Airflow offers a wide range of products for your ventilation needs and meet the requirements to keep you and your clients safe:

    Commercial MVHR Range

    The Duplexvent Range comes with ISO 16890 filters including ISO ePM1 55% (F7) pollen filters, to ensure good level of indoor air quality (IAQ).

    For more information or assistance, contact us at – Customer_Services@airflow.com

     

    More information and guidance on ventilation and virus transmission:

    • Government guidance

      Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

      Bringing fresh air into a room and removing older stale air that contains virus particles reduces the chance of spreading COVID-19. The more fresh air that is brought inside, the quicker any airborne virus will be removed from the room.’

    • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

    CIBSE COVID-19 Ventilation Guidance

    Ventilation is also a very important way of diluting any airborne pathogens and there is good evidence showing that room occupants are more at risk of catching an illness in a poorly ventilated room than in a well-ventilated room. This is because in a poorly ventilated room occupants are exposed to a higher concentration of airborne pathogens, and the risk will increase with a greater amount of time spent in such an environment.’