Do you ever hear your dental suction unit, smell your suction, does it ever produce inadequate force to allow all the practitioners in the practice to operate effectively at the same time? Traditional wet vacuum systems are loud, smelly (both from the burnt oil and the debris that is trapped in the tanks for an extended period of time) and use massive amounts of water, up to 200,000 gallons per year, equal to an Olympic size swimming pool worth of water every month. Not only is this an environmental concern, but a major financial sinkhole as well.
The recent introduction of various dry vacuum systems eliminates these concerns and provides excellent clinical vacuuming power. The concerns of retro-fitting a new unit center on practicality and cost. The replacement dry system should be no larger than the existing wet one, and should preferably provide more suction capacity for the practice.
When a dental hygienist cleans and polishes by dentist ultrasonic scaler your teeth, you can get a lot of cleaning paste in your mouth. We use the suction to help clean all of that away. Also, when dentists are do amalgam fillings, pieces of the soft amalgam can sometimes fall away from the tooth surface. We use the suction to help whisk them away.
During some procedures, such as white fillings, it is important that the tooth stay clean and dry. The suction helps keep the tooth dry by sucking away any saliva, blood, and water that may have accumulated around the tooth. If the cavity went below the gum-line, then it’s pretty likely that the gums will bleed during the filling.
Keeping the patient comfortable is a high priority. In response to Jeanny’s question, we suction after giving anesthetic because the anesthetic has a bitter taste, and most patients prefer to rinse out with water and use the saliva ejector. Also, if the anesthetic sits in the back of your mouth for too long, it may start to slightly numb the back of your mouth and could give the patient a gagging sensation. We will also use the suction to make sure that you don’t get too much water in your mouth while we are working.