KELOWNA, BC, May 25, 2020 – In response to COVID-19, Care Dental in Kelowna BC (www.caredental.ca) has made significant investment and renovated their entire facility to meet Canadian Healthcare Facilities HVAC Negative Pressure Airborne Infection Isolation Room Standard. It is believed to be the first of its kind in a BC dental setting.
Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms are used by hospitals to contain and eliminate dangerous airborne particles, like COVID-19. They protect both health care workers and teams.
They work by using a combination of positive pressure “air curtains” that create containment zones around the clinical space, and negative pressure intakes to eliminate and remove COVID-19 and any other airborne pathogens created. When risk of dangerous airborne particles exists, both Health Canada and the CDC recommend the use of Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms.
Dr. Dan Kobi, Principal Dentist describes, “Many dental procedures are aerosol generating procedures. This demands we take steps to contain and remove any airborne particles created in our clinical areas. Our engineered, design-built and balanced system is part of a layered infection control approach and meets or exceeds HVAC specifications used by Canadian hospitals in their airborne isolation rooms. Alongside patient flow adjustments, PPE enhancements and infection control changes, we can now most safely and responsibly deliver dental care”. Asked why all areas of the practice were protected, “Our vision is to be the dentists that both team and patients look forward to safely visiting. Although significantly increasing the investment, we felt that providing protection to all areas had best fit with this vision” said Kobi.
The reengineering and renovations have caught the eye of researchers at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. Faculty of Health Social and Development Associate Professor Dr. Jonathan Little, PhD is leading a research team and currently has a research proposal underway specific to the Care Dental project. “Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms have been used in hospitals to contain and eliminate dangerous particles for many years, however are not generally deployed in dental practices due to the significant expense and facility requirements demanded by their install. As dental workers are considered “high-risk” for respiratory diseases due to daily exposure to aerosolized pathogens, volatile organic compounds and mercury, we are excited to conduct a natural experiment to explore the health impacts of this technology for patients and teams in a dental setting”.