How Dental Saliva Ejectors Put Your Health at Risk: 6 Ways to Protect Yourself
In order to make your dental procedure as safe and comfortable as possible, clinical practitioners make sure to keep saliva, fluid and other gruesome goodies from pooling in your mouth. Evacuating the oral cavity of excessive moisture is a common part of dental treatment, but it’s essential that it be done properly so as not to compromise the patient’s health.
Many clinicians use a device called a saliva ejector—a straw-like, perforated suction tube that sucks out moisture from your mouth. While saliva ejectors have been around for decades, there are risks involved with their use that most people aren’t aware of. When you tighten your lips around the tip of the ejector and the pressure in your mouth becomes less than that of the saliva ejector, backflow can enter your mouth. (This is similar to how liquid flows back into your cup after sucking through a straw.) The problem is that this backflow may be hazardous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blood, saliva and other potentially infectious material (OPIM) from a previous patient sometimes remain in the vacuum line of the saliva ejector. That means they can be aspirated into your mouth if the saliva ejector is used improperly.
Tell your dental professional that you value their attention to equipment cleanliness
Although the risk of cross-contamination due to backflow is considered to be low, infection control should always be a top priority. Disposable and single-use evacuation products are available to lessen the risk of patient-to-patient contamination.
We are committed to sound infection control practices and urge you to join us by sharing this information to help protect the health of your family and friends.