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Protecting Patients While Using A Dental Saliva Ejector

Protecting Patients While Using A Dental Saliva Ejector

One of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in any dental office is the dental saliva ejector. These devices are carefully designed to provide maximum effectiveness in removing saliva from the patient’s mouth, and they are generally very easy to use and operate.

However, there are some habits or methods that dental hygienists and even dentists may use with these types of equipment that can make them potentially dangerous for the patient. This is true with any type of dental saliva ejector , including those that are designed with the best and most effective valves, parts, and disposable ends to prevent cross-contamination.

Vacuum Issues

It is essential to realize that a dental saliva ejector operates at low pressure to remove liquid from the patient’s mouth. This low pressure in the tube is a result of the vacuum created by the equipment when a saliva ejector is in use.

If the patient is asked to close his or her lips around the tip of the device, then this action results in the formation of a partial vacuum around the saliva ejector tip. The tighter the seal, the greater the risk of liquid in the tube backing up through the dental ejector and into the patient’s mouth. While the tip is changed between patients, the system itself is not always cleaned or disinfected, which creates the potential for cross-contamination.

Another cause of vacuum problems that can cause cross-contamination when using the saliva ejector is to use both the HVE and the SE at the same time with the patient. Using one or the other option with the patient eliminates this type of risk while not adding noticeable amounts of treatment time for the patient.

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