Evaluation of the Spatter-reduction Effectiveness of Two Dry-field Isolation Techniques
When performing procedures in dentistry there are multiple obstacles that must be overcome to provide proper care. These obstacles include continual salivary flow, dark environment, shadowing, soft tissue in close proximity to treatment site, open access to the airway, and patients having difficulty keeping their mouths open. Many of the procedures performed also produce spatter and aerosols which can contain infectious agents posing a risk to the dental provider as well as other staff and patients. A recent study published November 2012 in the Journal of the American Dental Association compared the efficacy of the Isolite system with a dental dam, bite block and concurrent use of the HVE. The control was the use of HVE alone.1
The authors null hypothesis states “the dry-field techniques would not result in a significant reduction of spatter compared with the control technique.” The result showed overall, use of the Isolite system and the dental dam with HVE decreased spatter significantly compared to the control.
Though there was no significant difference between the two isolation methods overall, there was a significant difference when comparing each individual tooth. The study used tooth numbers 18, 19 and 20. There was no significant difference in the two when used on tooth #18 and #19, however when tooth #20n was assessed the reduction in spatter was significantly greater with the dental dam and HVE.
The Isolite system has many benefits in addition to reduced spatter, it illuminates well, protects adjacent soft tissue, protects airway and assists in maintain an open mouth. In regard to the most anterior tooth, #20 and the difference in spatter reduction, the authors point out that even with the use of the Isolite system still reduced spatter significantly.
The authors conclude by stating, “Our study findings indicate that when preparing a posterior tooth in the left mandibular arch, dentists can use either a dental dam with HVE or the Isolite system, because both dry-field techniques reduced spatter significantly compared with use of an HVE alone. As a result, we can reject the null hypothesis that the dry-field techniques would not result in a significant reduction of spatter compared with the control.”
Have you used the Isolite system? If so, do you prefer it to a rubber dam and HVE? If not, would you like to try it? Do you currently utilize a rubber dam with HVE or just the HVE? If you are only utilizing the HVE, does this study give you pause?
- Dahlke WO, Cottam MR, Herring MC, Leavitt JM, Ditmyer MM, Walker RS. Evaluation of the spatter-reduction effectiveness of two dry-field isolation techniques. J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 Nov;143(11):1199-204. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.2012.0064. PMID: 23115148; PMCID: PMC7093867.