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Volume 16 , Issue 2
March/April 2003

Pages 157160

Pulmonary Risk of Intraoral Surface Conditioning Using Crystalline Silica

Beate Mayer, Dr Med Dent, Hans Raithel, Dr Med, Dr Rer Nat, Dr Med Habil, Dieter Weltle, Dr Rer Nat, Wilhelm Niedermeier, Dr Med Dent, Dr Med Dent Habil

PMID: 12737247

Purpose: This study evaluated the pulmonary risk caused by possible respirable dust of Al2O3 and SiOx resulting from chairside tribochemical sandblasting procedures in a dental office. Materials and Methods: Dust was collected using a trap near the working field, and quantitative morphologic determination and identification were performed with SEM and EDAX. Forty blasting processes (total time 20 minutes) were aimed at a dummy to obtain maximum pollution of the workplace. Respirable dust fraction was measured using personal air samplers with an 8-m cellulose-nitrate filter and a volume flow rate of 2 L/min. Mass of the respirable dust fraction was determined, and respirable free crystalline silica was identified with the help of infrared spectroscopy. Results: Blasting of metal or ceramic surfaces with tribochemical agents produces respirable and potentially harmful SiOx and Al2O3 particles with a diameter of less than 5 m, showing a total concentration in the air of less than 0.3 mg/m3. With and without dental suction, the concentration of the respirable free crystalline silica was smaller than 0.02 mg/m3. Conclusion: Concern regarding the risk of chairside tribochemical methods and possible impairment of health of patients and dental staff is unfounded, even under extreme conditions or without protective measures, since the concentrations of SiOx found in the air of the workplace were far below the current threshold value of 0.15 mg/m3. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:157160.

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