Published on January 2, 2018.

Digging into Dental

Five things accomplished by NFPA 99's new chapter on dental gas and vacuum systems

Establishes clearly defined categories for dental gas and vacuum systems

Category 1 systems are in facilities performing deep sedation and general anesthesia; category 2 systems are in facilities performing moderate or minimal sedation using only oxygen and nitrous oxide; and category 3 systems are in facilities performing minimal or no sedation with no medical gases.

Provides distinctions between medical air and dental air

Dental air is defined to be used to drive dental tools and not for respiration, unlike medical air. Dental air equipment is therefore allowed to be simplex, meaning it doesn’t need redundant components so the system can operate if one fails, and dental facilities don’t need to develop their emergency plans to deal with the loss of dental air.

Provides rigorous performance, testing, and maintenance criteria for category 1 dental gas, vacuum, and WAGD systems

Criteria for category 1 gas, vacuum, and waste anesthetic gas disposal systems in dental facilities must comply with Chapter 5: Gas and Vacuum Systems, which is what would be followed in an ambulatory surgical center or hospital.

Provides rules on nitrous oxide (N2O) scavenging, or the collection and removal of N2O

For instance, in category 1 systems for dental facilities, N2O scavenging inlets cannot be interchangeable with any other vacuum inlets.

Indicates the materials acceptable for piping in dental gas and vacuum systems

Piping for dental compressed air systems must be annealed temper copper tube, for example, while piping for dental vacuum and scavenging systems can be copper, PVC, or CPVC plastic.

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