Making a dentist office safe amid virus

When the quarantine mandates allowed for dentists to reopen on April 27, Dr. Tracey Tabor Williams wasn’t so ready to launch. Concerned for the health and well-being of her staff and patients, she was in the middle of researching solutions to add layers of protection in her practice, which is located in Lockerbie Marketplace.

Dr. Tracy Tabor Williams with a fogger.

The dental office was open for emergencies, of course, but didn’t reopen fully until June 3. 

Among the solutions Williams chose are enhanced medical/hospital-grade air purifiers in every space of her office. Several of these systems use an ultraviolet irradiation process to kill bacteria and viruses as the air is circulated through the device, as well as an ion generation process to clean the air. 

Williams also purchased a small hospital-grade germicidal ultraviolet light tower, which can be placed in the examination rooms for a short time to cleanse surfaces and air of microbes. 

The piece she feels best about, however, is a hospital-grade cold fogger— billed as one of the most efficient ways a dentist office can purify an environment after providing service to a patient.

The Beyond Guardian Air by Aerus, which features a filter combined with ionization and ultraviolet irradiation.

This machine uses a hypochlorous acid solution (with water, non-iodized salt and vinegar) released as a fog into any space to eliminate airborne droplets, germs and viruses which remain after dental procedures. Because most particles in the air carry a negative charge and this solution lacks an electrical charge, the particles are drawn together and the acid breaks down the proteins of the germs quickly.

The best part, Williams said, is that this solution is completely non-toxic and has actually been around for some time in the restaurant industry as a surface disinfectant. The dental staff is able to apply this cleaning in between every patient. Williams, who has operated the practice since 2005, believes new applications of this technology will pop up as society proceeds in the age of Covid-19. She added that all of the standard sterilization procedures are also still in place as she and her staff attempt to provide the safest experience they can to their patients.