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Effect of Different Isolation Methods on Bioaerosol Distribution: An In Vitro Study.

Purpose: The purposes of this in vitro study were to evaluate the effect of three isolation methods to mitigate bioaerosols during stainless steel crown (SSC) preparations and assess the distribution of Streptococcus mutans by aerosolization in closed-room operatories. Methods: Melamine teeth coated in laboratory-grown S. mutans biofilm were prepared for SSCs using three different isolation methods. Agar plates were placed in five locations throughout the operatory and opened during each preparation as well as for 10 minutes immediately following to collect aerosolized S. mutans. Bacterial colonies were counted after incubating plates for 48 hours. Data were analyzed for differences between the isolation method and plate locations. Results: Bacterial colony counts for teeth prepared using high-volume evacuation suction (HVE) with dental dam (DD) isolation were statistically significantly higher than for those prepared using HVE with a DryShield®(DS) and HVE with no isolation at the assistant (A) (P<0.001), operator face shield (FS) (P<0.001), and patient (Pt) (P=0.002) locations. No significant differences were found among isolation methods for parent (Pa) or rear delivery (RD) locations. The location that produced the most bacterial colony counts using HVE with DD isolation was FS (P<0.001), followed by A (P=0.04), Pt (P<0.001), and RD and Pa (P<0.001). Counts produced from teeth prepared with DS isolation were significantly higher at the Pt location than the A (P<0.001), FS (P=0.002), RD (P<0.001), and Pa (P=0.008) locations. Conclusion: The use of dental dam with high-volume evacuation suction during stainless steel crown preparations increased bioaerosols near the procedure, while dental evacuation systems (DryShield®) may effectively limit their spread.

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