air purifier in dental practice

Best air purifiers for your dental clinic | A dentist’s guide

INTRODUCTION:

The best air purifier guide for your dental clinic.

The coronavirus has completely changed the way we live. Moreover, the life of a dentist has been hard hit by this pandemic.

Dental practitioners are finding new ways to survive this corona pandemic in their practice. Having said that, we can now see many dentists opting for better equipment for maintaining a sterile environment in the dental office.

These changes are optimistic for better dentistry, to an extent. But, on the other side, there is something called “PANIC BUYING”, which is building up in the dental fraternity.

The corona effect has bought a profound confusion in the minds of dental practitioners, that they are forced to by a lot.

But! they are unaware that they are buying MORE THAN REQUIRED & this is called “PANIC BUYING”

This is a condition or situation, where it is difficult to find the exact borders for buying equipment. Strictly speaking you do not have any limit for it. But! you have to set it.

Think wisely, know your economic limits. Understand your patient’s paying capacity. Act promptly.

I have seen many dentists forming groups and trying to buy things in bulk. I have also seen sellers becoming more learned and taking advantage of such a situation.

One such case of panic buying is seen while buying AIR PURIFIERS for your practice.

HOW DOES AN AIR PURIFIER WORK?

An air purifier simply purifies the air in and around it. On the other hand, it is efficient in cleaning light particles like aerosols, bacteria, viruses, pollen, and many more.

Every air purifier has an inbuilt fan, which pushes the air against a filter. The filter helps in filtering the air and provides us with clean and healthy air.

But air purification depends on a lot of parameters. Here are 4 important factors that one should consider before buying an air purifier.

  1. Capacity: Air purifiers come with different capacities. High capacity air purifiers are best for large working areas.
  2. Filters: Air purifiers are equipped with different types of filters. All filters may not be suitable for your practice. Selecting the right filter is something you should do before finalizing your purchase.
  3. CARD (Clean air delivery rate): It tells the amount of clean air, that the machine can provide after one purification cycle. Large working areas require high CARD machines.
  4. ACH (Air change rate): It tells the number of times the machine purifies the air within an hour. High ACH means more purification cycles per hour.

TYPES OF FILTERS AVAILABLE FOR AIR PURIFIERS

Usually we observe 2 types of main filters in the air purifiers. They are HEPA filters and PECO filters.

HEPA

The high-efficiency particulate air filters are the regular and commonly available filters for air purification. In simple words, they are normal filters which filter larger particles, molds, bacteria, virus, and dust particles.

The HEPA filters are associated with fan blowing air towards the fabric-filter (cloth-like filter) and the air pressure helps in filtering the air.

Besides, there is nothing new in the filter and can be allowed for a sub-optimal use in dental practice.

The particles are literally trapped within the filter and stays there until the filter is cleaned or replaced.

HEPA filters are good for homes, but not for dental offices, where millions of microbes stay as inhabitants.

PECO

The photoelectrochemical oxidation filters allow the air to pass through an ionic chamber, where all the particles or molecules are allowed to bind with ions, further leading to the destruction of the particles or dust.

The chemical reaction in the PECO filter leads to the release of harmless water and carbon dioxide as end results.

The particles are chemically devitalized and are converted into inert harmless products.

PECO filters are the best in filtering volatile harmful gases. Especially formaldehyde gas after fumigating your clinic.

 AIR PURIFIER IN DENTAL CLINIC

Molekule Air Purifier

Molekule is equipped with a PECO filter, which can easily destroy a wide range of pathogens. It is ideal for 600 sq.ft rooms. Not available in India.


DOES AIR PURIFIERS PURIFY CORONA VIRUS?

All the present air purifiers can filter up to 0.3 microns of particles. Even the high-grade Air purifiers are successful in filtering particles greater than 0.1 microns.

But viruses are much smaller than bacteria. On average they may range from 0.02 to 0.4 microns. It is out of scope that these air purifiers can effectively filter the virus particles.

Coming to the SARS COV-2 virus, the size is expected to be 120 nanometers or 0.12 microns.

They are relatively large and can be filtered with high-grade HEPA FILTERS. Moreover, they can be easily destroyed using PECO filters.

WHICH AIR PURIFIER IS BEST FOR MY PRACTICE?

Now you are on the right track. 

All the air purifiers that you see are not suitable for your dental office. Here are a few requirements of  an ideal air purifier for your office

  • It should be efficient in filtering and killing the virus.
  • It should have a high CARD and ACH value.
  • It should be energy efficient 
  • Should be equipped with additional filteration mechanisms like activated carbon pre-filters.

Taking all the parameters into consideration, the best air purifier is the one that has a PECO filter (theoretically speaking). These air purifiers have a prefilter that helps in the prefiltration of air.

The pre-filtered air moves into the PECO filter, where the bacteria and viral particles irrespective of the size are destroyed.

On the other hand, good HEPA filters with additional filtration mechanisms (LIKE ACTIVATED CARBON FILTER), can be a better option if PECO filters are difficult to obtain in your region (when you think practically).

But remember! A highly efficient HEPA filter can only trap the virus within the filter. The virus stays there until it is destroyed or the filter is replaced.

ARE AIR PURIFIERS WORTHY FOR MY PRACTICE?

It depends on your requirement. This is how I clear the clutter in the minds of the people who ask me this question. 

Air purifiers are meant to purify dust particles, bacteria, viruses, and other aerosols in the air. But the effectiveness of the air purifier varies from company to company and depends on the type of filter you opt for.

Moreover, the idea of using an air purifier is to clean the environment around you. But the virus particles are still patent on the surrounding dental appliances that you use.

In simple words, the air purifier can filter the viral particles in the air, but not the ones that are settled on the surfaces.

Buying an air purifier for your practice is an option, but not a pre-requisite. 

So, if you think an air purifier is a must for your practice, this is my takehome message: 

  1. Opt for a good PECO PURIFIER.
  2. For a budget-friendly practice, go for an air purifier with advanced HEPA filters with additional layers of filtration or MEDICAL GRADE HEPA FILTERS.

 AIR PURIFIER IN DENTAL CLINIC

Sharp air purifier

The product is equipped with state of art PLASMA CLUSTER TECHNOLOGY, which produces positive and negative ions into the environment. These ions form free radicals and destroy the pathogens. The product is almost similar to the PECO purifier. 


RECOMMENDED AIR PURIFIERS

A surge in the use of air purifiers is observed only after this pandemic. Unfortunately, a genuine hospital-based air purifier is not available in India.

There is a recent surge in the air purifier business. As a result, new companies with new technologies are coming into the market. 

Unfortunately, a pure PECO air purifier is not available in India. Hence here is a curated list of top air purifiers, we thought, would be useful for your dental clinics.

Sharp air purifier with Plasma cluster technology

This Japanese brand air purifier is equipped with both HEPA and plasma cluster technology for better protection from pathogens.


Plasma cluster technology is almost similar to PECO technology. Here the ions are released into the air. These ions form free radicals which act on pathogens.


As the mechanism of action is similar to PECO purifiers, we can prefer them in dental offices.


Coway air purifier

It is a Korean made air purifier with “Green Anti Flu HEPA technology”.


The patented urethane carbon filter helps in adsorbing volatile gases and acts as Deodorizer.


Ideal for 33sq.mtrs area with a CARD of 303 cubic m/hr.


The Coway air purifier is specially made for dental offices working under aerosols (AS ADVOCATED BY THE COMPANY).


Airspa air purifier

The airspa air purifier is a unique machine equipped with UV-c filtration.


The company advocates that the purification occurs in 7 stages, which is ideal for dental offices.


 The 7 filters are Alloy washable filterCold catalyst filter (for volatile gases), Activated carbon filter (for smoke and sweat odor), The 5-micron anti-microbial filterHepa filter, UV filter and Negative ionizer.


The negative ionizer helps in cleaning the air and simulate a hill station type environment. Ideal for environments dealing with droplets or aerosols.



Philips AC3257

This is my favourate! The vista shield IPS design with extra thick nano-protect HEPA filter helps in removing fine micro particles as small as 0.02 microns.


The company also advocates about its efficiency in purifying H1N1 viruses and many other microbes from air.


With 99.97% particle removal efficiency (approved by IUTA, Germany), the product would be ideal for areas that are prone to contamination.



And the list continues. We will update the list as and when new relevant products appear in the market. So stay tuned. If you like the post, share it with your friends.

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