Study: Most Aerosol Droplets in Dental Procedures From Irrigation Tools, Not Saliva

Patient saliva was found not to be the major source of the microbes in aerosols generated during dental procedures, according to Ohio State University researchers, who analyzed the genetic makeup of the organisms detected in aerosols.

The findings, published May 12 in the Journal of Dental Research, is the latest study to demonstrate that visiting the dentist remains safe, with low risk for transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets, and dental procedures are known to produce an abundance of aerosols, which led to fears that saliva during a cleaning or a restorative procedure could make the dentist’s chair a high-risk location.

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