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Headed to the Dentist? Beware of Backflow

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Headed to the Dentist? Beware of Backflow

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August 16, 2016

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Although dentists have always been concerned about infection control when treating patients, infection-prevention methods were less rigorous in the past. Years ago, gloves were worn only during surgical procedures. Masks, if worn at all, were kept on all day and with all patients. Protective gowns were the exception, not the rule.

Fast-forward a few decades and dentists as well as their patients are now much more focused on the priorities that surround infection control. Thanks also to new technologies, risks are now kept to a minimum.

One of those new technologies, in fact, is now addressing a safety hazard that until recently has received little attention: backflow. Backflow poses a risk of cross-contamination from saliva evacuation systems used to extract saliva while you are undergoing a routine cleaning, as well as more complex dental procedures. Think of it this way: When you close your lips around the saliva-ejector straw or tip in your dentist’s office, there can be a decrease in the vacuum line pressure. This may allow previously evacuated fluid in the line to flow backward or possibly back into the current patient’s mouth, bringing with it any germs left behind by the previous patient or patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this happens to about 1 in 5 patients who close their lips around the saliva-ejector tip.

So what to do? The answer may lie with St. Louis-based Stoma Dental, which has created a new disposable saliva-ejector valve called the DOVE Backflow Prevention Valve. This one-way valve prevents backflow and virtually eliminates this cross-contamination risk between patients. It allows only for one-way flow or suction, and an internal flap prevents any opportunity for backflow.

“After decades of concern about backflow, it is exciting and important to have this new option available to offer to dental professionals and their patients, as it brings a new level of confidence to their infection-control efforts,” says Gytis Udrys, DDS, in private practice with Powell and Udrys, Saline, MI.

The use of the new DOVE Backflow Prevention Valve is as easy as flipping a switch. This is the way it works: Any dentist, hygienist or dental assistant can open and close the mechanism by activating a switch. At the end of each procedure, these new disposable valves can be pulled off the vacuum line and discarded, taking mere seconds, unlike traditional metal valves that can take more than 10 minutes, and sometimes two staff members, to disassemble and sterilize.

For more information, please visit www.besafedental.com.

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