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Polymers Prevent Potentially Hazardous Mist During Dentist Visit

August 26, 2020
by American Institute of Physics


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago couldn’t stop thinking about the spinning, vibrating tools in a dentist’s office that turn water into mist and send it flying into the air. If that mist contains a virus or some other pathogen, it is a health hazard for dentists and patients.

In a paper published this week in Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, Alexander Yarin and his colleagues discovered that the forces of a vibrating tool or dentist’s drill are no match for the viscoelastic properties of food-grade polymers, such as polyacrylic acid, which they used as a small admixture to water in dental settings.

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