Masks, Airborne Particles, and Dentistry.

Dr. Mauricio Hervas Coronavirus and Dentistry, Wellness Leave a Comment

Airborne is defined as transmission or transported by air. In medical and dental terms airborne is when a pathogen like bacteria, fungi or virus is transmitted through the air. It moves through the air as aerosols not inside droplets. Some researchers think Covid-19 is too heavy to fly through air, it can only fly inside droplets. Measles and chickenpox can fly through air.

Imagine somebody for example speaking, coughing, or sneezing inside a classroom. Depending on the distance, those who breathe this infected air and (if there is no immunity) will more likely contract the disease. If the sneezing or speaking is heavy bringing droplets of mucus, saliva or water into the air, and gets close to your hand and later you bring it to your mouth, more likely you will contract the disease. So it is a very fine line between flying through the air or inside droplets.

As of today, the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 is NOT airborne. Regardless, in our humble opinion, everybody should wear a mask when going outside into a public place. This is how China and Korea controlled the curve beside mandatory quarantine. If you are coronavirus positive without symptoms and go outside wearing a mask, transmission will be less likely to occur. But because we don’t know who is positive without symptoms, don’t take a chance and lets wear a mask every time we go outside to public places.

N95 and Types of Masks in Dentistry

In dentistry we wear a protective mask to see patients pretty much all the time. Level 3 masks provide a high barrier to pathogens or particles airborne. N95 masks are also available and the 95 means that the mask blocks 95% of the particles up to 0.3 microns and 80% of particles down to 0.007. So how big is the corona virus? Researchers found to be approximately 0.125 microns. If we wear a mask and maintain social distance, we have contributed to this world.

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