A COMPARISON OF A 3D-PRINTED HIGH VOLUME EVACUATION TIP WITH TWO INTRAORAL EVACUATOR TIPS FOR PERFORMANCE DURING DENTAL PROCEDURES: A BENCHTOP PROCEDURE
Dental suction device performance
Background: The pandemic of coronavirus disease has allowed dental experts to reconsider how they manage infections while administering treatments. Established protocols advise the use of high-capacity suction devices for procedures that create aerosols in dental practise. Lately, the spread of COVID-19 has become a significant worry in dental offices, primarily because procedures generate contaminated aerosols and tiny saliva droplets, leading to possible transmission.
Methodology: This study compared the performance of three suction tips of different sizes and shapes in a bench top experiment. The suction performance and breadth of suction of a prototype 3D printed high volume evacuator tip, a saliva ejector and a standard high volume evacuator tip were compared using timed water test, salt, and talc powder tests.
Results: Using analysis of variance and Turkey’s post hoc tests, both the prototype and standard high volume evacuator tips exhibited a significant increase in water flow rate (P < 0.001) compared with that of the saliva ejector. However, the results showed no statistically significant difference in water flow rate between the prototype and the standard high volume evacuator tips (P = 0.362). In addition, a statistically significant difference was observed in the width of suction of salt and talc powder, the prototype tip had the widest breadth of suction while the saliva ejector had the narrowest breadth (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Within the study limitation, the study results showed that the prototype high volume evacuator tip performed better than the conventional HVE in suction breadth, but both are similar in flow rate performance. Hence, utilising the prototype tip for isolation during dental procedures could potentially decrease the risk of exposure to pathogens in the oral cavity.