As dentists are at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, and other critical infectious diseases, researchers from National University of Singapore (NUS) have invented a portable tent-like shield to prevent the spread of saliva and aerosols generated during dental procedures.
The Dental Droplet and Aerosol Reducing Tent (Dental DART) can be placed around the patient’s head to serve as a barrier to protect dentists, nurses and patients from direct and indirect exposure to infectious diseases such COVID-19.
In addition, the Dental DART limits the spread of aerosols onto environmental surfaces, decreasing pathogen availability and potential cross-contamination.
This will help protect dentists as they perform dental treatments are performed at close proximity to the mouths and noses of the patients.
The device is an adaptation of DART, an earlier NUS innovation that protects healthcare workers when they perform procedures that generate droplets and aerosols, such as intubation and extubation.
“The Dental DART is a design evolution, and has been prepared to protect dentists and their patients from potential infectious agents present in the aerosols that are generated during dental procedures,” said Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise), who is the lead researcher for this project.