Air disinfection procedures in the dental office during the COVID-19 pandemic

Med Pr. 2021 Feb 3;72(1):39-48. doi: 10.13075/mp.5893.01005. Epub 2020 Oct 16.


The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) generated a huge pressure on health care systems worldwide and exposed their lack of preparation for a major health crisis. In the times of a respiratory disease pandemic, members of the dental profession, due to having a direct contact with the patients' oral cavity, body fluids and airborne pathogens, are exposed to a great occupational hazard of becoming infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The authors carried out a systematic literature search using the main online databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, MEDLINE, UpToDate, Embase, and Web of Science) with the following keywords: "COVID-19," "2019-nCoV," "coronavirus," "SARS-CoV-2," "dental COVID-19," "dentistry COVID-19," "occupational hazards dentistry," "ventilation," "air disinfection," "airborne transmission," "hydrogen peroxide disinfection," "UV disinfection," "ozone disinfection," "plasma disinfection," and "TiO2 disinfection." They included publications focused on COVID-19 features, occupational hazards for dental staff during COVID-19 pandemic, and methods of air disinfection. They found that due to the work environment conditions, if appropriate measures of infection control are not being implemented, dental offices and dental staff can become a dangerous source of COVID-19 transmission. That is why the work safety protocols in dentistry have to be revised and additional methods of decontamination implemented. The authors specifically advise on the utilization of wildly accepted methods like ultraviolet germicidal irradiation with additional disinfection systems, which have not been introduced in dentistry yet, like vaporized hydrogen peroxide, non-thermal plasma and air filters with photocatalytic disinfection properties. Due to its toxicity, ozone is not the first-choice method for air decontamination of enclosed clinical settings. Med Pr. 2021;72(1):39-48.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; air disinfection; airborne transmission; dentistry; occupational hazards.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • Dental Offices*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Pandemics