Posted by D. Scott Fehrs, ChFC® on Jun 7, 2021 9:00:00 AM
There are a number of important aspects of a dental practice, and good ventilation is one of them. That might not be at the top of your mind when building a dental practice, but it's a big part of what's needed.
Without good airflow, there's a higher risk of germs and plenty of other problems that can get started. Some older ventilation systems can also grow mold and mildew. That causes them to develop that "musty" smell that implies things aren't clean. You don't want to breathe that all day, and your patients may not feel comfortable with it, either.
Fortunately, there are some great ways to keep the ventilation system at your dental office strong and healthy. Understanding why it's important is the first step toward making sure you focus on any needed ventilation adjustments. That gives you the option to upgrade or make changes later, while keeping you and your patients as healthy as possible in the meantime. You can use your ventilation system to help keep your practice at a comfortable temperature, too, so you and your staff -- as well as your patients -- feel better about being in your office and getting things done.
Good Air Flow Means Germ Reduction
The most important thing to know about good airflow and ventilation in a dental practice is that it helps to reduce germs. HEPA filters, ozone generators, ionizers, carbon filters, and more all work together to make sure the air that everyone is breathing is as clean and healthy as possible. Because people are working closely together, and because patients are in and out of the office all day, it's easy for germs to enter your dental practice. Those germs can cause serious sickness, and should be avoided.
While it is not possible to address every issue and remove every germ from your dental office, proper HEPA filtration is a good start toward keeping the air as clean as possible. These types of filters remove the vast majority of particles from the air, so you don't have to worry about germs traveling from one person to another. You'll want to consider whether you need a whole-space filter and ventilation system, or whether you want some rooms to have separate systems, instead.
Patients Feel Better with Clean Air
Not only do patients reduce their health risks when they use dental offices with clean air and proper ventilation, but they might also simply feel better. Clean air, especially air that's filtered through an ozone generator or ionizer, feels better to most people1. The proper level of ions in the air can actually relax people and keep them feeling more comfortable. That's not a bad thing in a dentist's office, where some people could feel stressed and nervous already.
Healthy Air Means Easier Working Conditions
It's not just patients who appreciate healthy air. Dentists, hygienists, assistants, office staff, and anyone else who's working in that space all day wants to be breathing air that's fresh and clean. Recycled, dirty air isn't going to help with mood or productivity and could lead to everything from lethargy to arguments. That's not to say that clean air is a magic cure for everything, but it does go a long way toward helping people feel better about their working environment on a daily basis.
It's Not Just About Pandemics
When people talk about healthy air, most of them think of COVID. But the risk of pandemics is far from the only reason to focus on clean air in a dental practice. This virus won't be a problem forever. While there's always a chance of a new pandemic appearing at a later date, it's not common and isn't something most people will be worried about on a daily basis.
Instead, it's the "basic" germs that people worry about -- colds and flu germs are a common problem in medical settings. A lot of times, people are already ill when they come to see their doctor, for example. That's less common with a dentist, but the proximity of a lot of people together can still lead to germs being passed around, collecting on surfaces, and traveling through the air. The right ventilation and filtration system is important all the time.
How to Keep the Air Clean
The best way to keep the air clean is to get the advice of a ventilation professional. Following proper recommendations for dental and other medical offices is another good way to be sure ventilation is being handled correctly. By combining the recommendations of medical experts with help from a trusted ventilation and filtration company, your dental practice will be more prepared to ensure the health and safety of your staff and patients. HEPA filtration is one of the best choices for dental practices, but ionizers, ozone generators, and carbon filters are also good choices for clean, healthy air1.
Where to Look if There Are Problems
Sometimes, the air in a dental practice just doesn't feel as clean as it should. That could be due to a lack of proper ventilation, or filtration technology that's not working as expected. Having a professional check the system is one way to quickly diagnose issues with it and get them corrected. Don't ignore potential issues, as that could lead to a lack of proper ventilation and an increased chance of illness for you and your staff, as well as your patients.
Healthy Air: Just One Way to Grow a Practice
As you grow your patient list, you'll want to be sure to keep those patients as healthy as possible while they're in your care. That includes the ventilation and filtration options you're using for your practice. Make sure you keep up to date on the recommendations for the dental industry, and have your ventilation system checked and maintained on a schedule that keeps it working as well as possible. That will help protect everyone who works there, and comes through your doors for treatment.
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This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice.