How the high-volume evacuation alters the flow-field and particle removal characteristics in the mock-up dental clinic

Xiujie Li, Cheuk Ming Mak, Kuen Wai Ma, Hai Ming Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The exposure risk of droplets and aerosols emitted from the oral cavity to the dental professionals and patients has received more attention especially the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. The aim of this study is to address the question about how the use of the high-volume evacuation (HVE) alters the risk profiles compared with the situation only personal protective equipment (PPE). The risk profiles of the different situations were analyzed in terms of droplet velocity, flow field characteristics, and particle removal efficiency. The ultrasonic scaling with suction was performed in the mock-up experimental dental clinic, and the instantaneous moment when the HVE acted on the droplets was visualized using a laser light scattering technique. From the results of the velocity profiles, the hypothesis about the moderate effect of the HVE on high-velocity small droplets near the mannequin's mouth had been firstly proven in this study. The suction can be characterized as low-threshold equipment to bring substantial benefits to reduce the area of the contaminated region. Once the cooperation of suction, the pair of vortexes that were in the face shield area of the dental professional would be eliminated, removing the high-level contaminated region near the breathing area of dental professionals. Compared with the low and medium volume evacuation, the particle removal efficiency of the HVE was more stable at 60%. The research will provide references to the HVE recommendation in the dentistry clinical practice guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108225
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Dental clinic
  • High-volume evacuation
  • Laser light scattering
  • Particle removal efficiency
  • Risk profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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