We try to answer the commonly asked questions to help our customers understand our products and services. If you don't see the information here please send us a question using the chat icon in the lower right portion of our website, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will answer it as fast as we can!
Q. What is the CFM of the AeroShield?
A. This is an extremely important question and it is, in fact, the reason we developed the AeroShield™ FLOW. CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is a measurement of the volume of air flowing through a system. Our unit is effectively removing ~330 cubic feet of air per minute from the practitioner's breathing zone. After countless prototypes and testing in a dental office using high speed drills and ultrasonic scalers we learned that this allows for very effective removal of these dental-specific aerosols while still allowing for enough space between the intake nozzle and the oral cavity. Less flow than this only removes a small percentage of aerosols and at lower CFM the intake nozzle must be right next to the mouth to capture anything. More flow than this will still get the job done but will require larger, louder, and more expensive motors. Something to keep in mind is that this is the ACTUAL CFM we are drawing from the intake nozzle through our unit, the CFM rating of the motor is much higher. There are other units on the market and the listed CFM of those units are all over the map. Some units claim to be smaller, quieter, and have double the CFM of our unit. These units are likely listing the CFM rating of their motor. We list the actual CFM we get after we pull air through the entire unit and our filters. To give you an idea of what this means we can tell you that our motor, which is rated at approximatly 1000 CFM, is actually pulling 330 CFM away from the patients mouth.
Q. Why does your unit have a large flexible arm instead of a smaller diameter metal arm with joints like other units have?
A. The simple answer is: “because it works better, keeps air flow rate higher, and is easier to position.”
The complete answer to this question is a bit technical. Air moves like a fluid. If you are trying to move air through a duct, two of the biggest factors that can restrict this flow are diameter and changes in direction. A smaller diameter duct requires more pressure than a larger diameter duct to push/pull a given volume of air through it. We chose a larger diameter so that we get FLOW, not just suction. Now, take a look at the bends in the duct. If you have sharp bends you create a lot of turbulence and friction which also reduces efficiency. This is why we chose to use a flexible arm with gradual bends instead of a rigid arm with elbows. We tested both and we were amazed at how much FLOW we lost when using a rigid arm with joints. To us, the good looks of these rigid arms were not worth the extreme loss of efficiency. Also, the rigid arms are difficult to maneuver as they require tightening and loosening bolts for repositioning, that is why the videos always show the intake nozzles and extraction arms in place and not being moved. Now, we want to add a side note. These smaller diameter arms do work if you have a high pressure/low flow system, like how a vacuum cleaner works. In that case these arms are very effective and exhibit a somewhat negligible loss of flow. But, these systems produce about 1/3 of the amount of FLOW that we feel is most effective. They also have a high pressure(measured as static pressure, mPa, InH2O, etc) which means they actually are like a vacuum cleaner. So you not going to remove enough air (volume) to stay safer, you have to have the intake nozzle within 2-3 inches of the mouth to capture the dental aerosols, and you may suction up a dropped crown...think of the suction on a vacuum cleaner.
Q. Now that you mention it, what if something (like a crown) accidentally gets sucked into the AeroShield™ FLOW?
A. In the unlikely but plausible situation that something gets sucked into the AeroShield™ FLOW, there is nothing to worry about. Simply turn the unit off, open the access door, and remove the object from the top of the first filter. (If it happens to be a crown or anything else that will be going back into the patients mouth, sterilize it before letting it come into contact with the patient.) All air goes through three physical filters (and a UV filter) before reaching the motor, so neither the AeroShield™ FLOW nor the object will be damaged. Be sure to change any contaminated PPE after touching the inside of the unit or the filters.
Q. How big is the AeroShield™ FLOW?
A. The FLOW was designed to fit into almost all dental operatories, we have not found one yet that it does not work in. The base of the FLOW measures 16” square by 25” high, including the casters. The unit comes with an extraction arm that extends from 48-68 inches. If you need to place the base of your FLOW further than 68" from the working area, we can work with you on a customized arm length to ensure the FLOW is easily accessible for use.
Q. How loud is the AeroShield™ FLOW?
A. We tested the AeroShield™ FLOW in a dental operatory with a sound level meter and we were registering 66 dba. It is not whisper quiet. But its not as loud as a high speed drill either. There are several reasons for this but primarily it is due to airflow. Air makes noise when it moves and we know that removing contaminated air is going to make some noise. It's very hard to avoid. We have had multiple patients comment that they prefer having the AeroShield FLOW running and creating white noise during their dental appointment to drown out the sound of the high speed drill. One patient was even able to cease taking her anxiolytic medication because she found the sound of the AeroShield FLOW soothing, a fantastic unintended result of using the FLOW. And while we don't claim to be the quietest machine on the market, we are giving you actual decibal levels and actual aerosol removal. If you see a machine that has specs which seem to good to be true...
Q. I see that you are offering color choices. What if I can’t tell which color will work for me?
A. We are the only extraoral suction devices on the market offering color choices. Since we make everything right here in Florida, we have the ability to offer options that units coming from overseas can’t. Since we know how much time you spend in your office, we want you to have an AeroShield™ FLOW that looks great in your space. If you want to see what colors will actually look like, please order Color Swatches. They are $4 each but whatever you spend on swatches will be credited toward your AeroShield™ FLOW purchase.
Q. What if your color options don’t work for my office?
A. It is possible to have the color of your units customized to a certain extent. We may not be able to match a shade perfectly, but we will certainly try. Please contact us directly and let’s see what we can come up with together.
Q. I’m not sure if the AeroShield™ FLOW will fit in my operatory. How can I be sure that I can position it properly?
A. We designed the AeroShield™ FLOW to adapt to most dental operatories. However, we do have options for shortening or lengthening the extraction arm to make the FLOW work in your space. All you need is a 16” square area to place the base of the unit and we can make the rest work. Please measure your space and contact us via phone or email to discuss options.
Q. When are you shipping?
A. We have already begun shipping orders on a first come first served basis. At this time we are experiencing a 2-4 week lead time from the time you place an order to the time we can ship your machine. Unfortunately, the same Covid-19 crisis that is making it difficult to practice dentistry is making it difficult for us to manufacture these units and it has also affected the speed of our supply chain. We are working day and night to get these into the hands of dental practitioners. Due to this uncertain lead time we may run into slight delays. We are available to discuss the lead times and color options with each customer before they place their order. We are happy to discuss the AeroShield™ FLOW with you over the phone or via email!
Q. Why should I invest in AeroShield™ technology when they are working on a vaccine now?
A. Cleaning the air of pathogens can help minimize the chance of spreading a virus even as it mutates into something that may bypass the latest vaccines. Covid-19 was not the first widely spread, highly infectious virus to infect humans and it will not be the last. There is a high likelihood of future infections causing the same scenarios and layering our infection control techniques as much as possible by breathing clean air along with other PPE will allow dentists to reduce their risk of infections. Just as the AIDS pandemic brought about changes in the way we protect ourselves from blood borne pathogens, the Covid pandemic is bringing about changes in our infection control techniques for aerosol/droplet transmitted pathogens. You treat every patient as if they have a blood borne disease. It's time to treat every patient as if they have an airborne-transmissible disease.
Q. I saw something called Vida shield, are you related?
A. No. Vida shield uses UV light to kill pathogens in air that is up at ceiling height. This means that the pathogens would have already come into contact with the dental professionals before the air could be filtered. We don’t see the efficacy of this for the dental office as a first line of defense. Our goal is to capture as much contaminated air as possible before it gets to the practitioner. You could use some sort of whole-room air purifier as a back-up to continually clean the air, but we prefer to just keep our AeroShield™ FLOW running between patients to continually clean the air.