Jul 19, 2023

Compressed air in the medical-dental sector

In dental clinics and laboratories, the quality of compressed air is a key factor in ensuring safety and hygiene.
Compressed air plays a critical role in many applications in the sector, not only for the precise machinery used in the manufacture of dental prostheses, dental workshop tools, etc., but also for tools used directly in the dental chair.
In this type of activity it is essential to control the quality of the air, so the ISO 8573.1 standard establishes very clear guidelines for this to be fulfilled in 3 concepts: particles, humidity and oil.
It must be taken into account that the air sucked in by the compressor is full of various contaminants, such as microorganisms, particles, etc… The presence and non-elimination of impurities in the air can compromise the safety and operation of machines and tools in dental laboratories, as well as the most dangerous thing: risks to people’s health.
By implementing appropriate filtration, humidity control and oil contamination prevention measures, optimal compressed air quality can be ensured, thus protecting safety and precision in all related activities.
In this post, we talk to Rafael Jaén, Director of DENCADIGI with a long history and experience in the dental sector, to tell us more about how to ensure the quality of compressed air.

  • What are the main risks associated with poor compressed air quality in the dental sector?

The main risks that we can have in the medical-dental sector are the possible contamination of materials (especially when working in the clinic) and the useful life of all the machines/utensils and even being able to affect in such a way that it could cause a breakdown due to the entry of humidity or even oil.

  • In order to comply with compressed air quality standards in the dental sector, what specific aspects or considerations must be taken into account?

The regulations in the dental sector take into account 3 aspects: solid particles, humidity and oil (if it is for laboratory use, the particle filter is not necessary). Therefore, we have to take these aspects into consideration when choosing an air compressor. Choose a unit with a particulate filter and dryer.

  • What are the most effective measures that can be taken to ensure the quality of compressed air in dental clinics and laboratories?

Choose a suitable compressor according to the necessary characteristics and, most importantly, maintain it well and carry out regular checks to ensure that it is working properly.

  • What are the common challenges faced by dental clinics and laboratories in relation to compressed air quality, and how can they be overcome?

Compressors in dentistry and prosthetics must take care and offer the best conditions of cleanliness, maintenance and technical characteristics. We have to consider the power, as we have to take into account the number of boxes and/or machines that will depend on it. Noise level in a medical or laboratory environment, the quieter the better. Dry air: they must be oil-free compressors, they must have antivirus and bacteria filters. Guarantee and compliance with all the certifications required in each autonomous community.
In order to meet all these challenges, clinics and laboratories must have good advice in order to choose the right compressor for their needs.

  • What types of pollutants are most common in the sector?

Viruses, bacteria and fungi would be the most important contaminants in our sector, to avoid the spread or growth of these viruses, bacteria and fungi we have to have an oil-free compressor that could be the transport for viruses and bacteria to reach the patient’s mouth. And we also need dry air, there can be no humidity in the tank, because if there is humidity we create a perfect environment for the growth of fungi and bacteria, which can be carried by the exhaust air to reach the patient’s mouth.