Microbiological air analysis in dental surgeries: a comparison between two methods
The microbiological quality of indoor air is creating an increasing interest especially as far as places at risk such as hospitals, clinics, medical and odontological surgeries are concerned. Working with the odontologists of our province we have been carrying out a research aimed at preventing cross-infection in odontology. Data obtained from the microbiological analysis of the air in 36 surgeries using S.A.S. were discussed during the V National Congress of Aerobiology. During that congress the need of setting a standardized technique of air sampling in indoor environments emerged and two routes have been identified: (1) the gravimetric technique on open plate exposed for an hour close to the dental unit and (2) the use of the volumetric sampler which gives qualitative data expressed as colonies forming units per cubic metre of air. However, both of these techniques present some problems: using the first a loss of micro-organisms has been noticed due to the variability of the air fluxes and the different weight of the biological particles; using the second one the bacterial charge is also undervalued, because of the stress suffered by the bacteria with the use of the volumetric sampler. In the light of these statements we decided to use both in dental surgeries to be able to compare the results obtained. Our project is expected to carry out at least one inspection and the relative sampling (indoor air, water of the dental unit, air of the syringe, disinfectant solution, surface tampons, biological test of sterility) in each dental surgery in the territory of our health Unit, located in Ferrara, Northern Italy.
KeywordsAir quality Dental surgery Environment Surface tampons
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