Aerosols in the Dental Office: How, When, and Where?

Airborne transmission of various pathogens has been demonstrated in both healthcare and community settings. Airborne transmission of tuberculosis and measles has been documented on commercial aircraft and in the clinic waiting area, where increased proximity to infected persons conveyed increased transmission risk.26,27 Viral transmission after airborne droplets/particles have settled on surfaces in these environments has also been demonstrated.26,27 Furthermore, isolation of several different pathogens capable of aerosol transmission have been noted in the dental offices.28,29

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