A peer-reviewed journal that offers evidence-based clinical information and continuing education for dentists.

Coronavirus Infection May Spread Via Aerosols


As evidence has shown that asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 can shed the virus before becoming ill, scientists are now considering that the novel coronavirus is spread via fluid particles smaller than 5 microns. This would mean that COVID-19 can be spread via breathing and talking (ie, aerosols), not just through larger respiratory droplets generated via coughing, as originally thought. If so, oral health professionals may need to use higher level protection once they return to practice. Click here to learn about the differences between surgical masks and N95 respirators from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And stay tuned for further COVID-19 updates from Decisions that will address the mask vs respirator question.

  1. Steve Anderson says

    Please investigate that the WHO has published ASTM Level 2 & 3 surgical masks as effective protection against COVID-19. Furthermore, specifications for the ASTM Level 2 & 3 surgical face masks when used appropriately are rated at sub-micron particulate filtrate efficiency >= 98% at .1 microns. Sub-micron particulate filtrate efficiency is def. as the filtrate efficiency of the material to capture aerosolized particles SMALLER than .1 microns. See http://www.astm.com

  2. Steve Anderson says

    Correction: see http://www.astm.org

  3. Mark Fohey says

    Those of us in dentistry will never be at zero risk and if we’re going to continue practicing the profession we love the best we can do is minimize our risks just as we’ve been doing for a long time. I go back far enough that I practiced wet finger dentistry! This is just another in a long list of challenges.

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