Background/purpose This study attempted to understand the spreading characteristics of airborne bacterial contaminants during dental scaling treatment. Materials and methods Bacterial aerosols were collected with gelatin filters, in a single-chair clinic during ultrasonic scaling treatments on two patients with periodontitis. Results The results showed that bacterial aerosols contamination could spread a horizontal distance of 100 cm and a vertical distance of 50 cm from a patient's oral cavity, and remain airborne suspended for 20 minutes. Conclusion Proper environmental and personal infection control measures, including isolation, ventilation, and full-cover facial shield, are recommended to diminish the contaminating risk in dental clinics.
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