Aerosols and spatter are concerns in health care owing to their potential adverse health effects. The Isolite illuminated isolation system (Isolite Systems) and a saliva ejector were compared for aerosol and spatter reduction during and after ultrasonic scaling.
Fifty participants were randomized to control (n = 25, saliva ejector) or test (n = 25, Isolite) groups and received a prophylaxis with an ultrasonic scaler. Aerosols were collected in a petri dish containing transport media, dispersed, and plated to anaerobic blood agar to determine colony-forming units (CFUs). The authors analyzed the data using a t test.
No significant difference occurred between groups in aerosol and spatter reduction (P = .25). Mean (standard deviation) of log10 CFUs per milliliter collected during ultrasonic scaling in the control and test groups were 3.61 (0.95) and 3.30 (0.88), respectively. All samples contained α-hemolytic streptococci, and many samples contained strictly oral anaerobes.
A significant amount of contamination occurred during ultrasonic scaling in both groups, as indicated by high numbers of CFUs and the identification of strictly oral anaerobes in all plates.
Neither device reduced aerosols and spatter effectively, and there was no significant difference in reduction between the 2 devices. Additional measures should be taken with these devices to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.