For Dr. Kelly Blodgett, dentistry is a true calling. After undergraduate studies, his plan was to work towards a doctorate in psychology and counseling. Dr. Blodgett had already been accepted into a program to pursue that goal when in a moment of inspiration, he set his sights on becoming a dentist.
Essential to that new calling was a fervent desire to help reverse the negative stereotype of dentistry.
“Twenty-seven years after that epiphany, I am still striving to improve patients’ experiences and health outcomes,” Dr. Blodgett relates.
His has been a successful endeavor, with patients of his well-established practice in Portland, Oregon benefiting from his dedication to the advancement of the standard of care that his practice offers patients.
Dr. Blodgett's tireless pursuit of excellence led him to integrate IQAir air purifiers into his practice, a move that significantly enhanced patient experience. Read on to discover how this has become an indispensable part of his dental office.
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Dr. Blodgett became the first dentist in the State of Oregon to be board certified in Naturopathic Medical Dentistry and Integrative Biological Dental Medicine.
And while he was becoming certified for SMART (safe mercury amalgam removal technique) by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), he heard about IQAir’s room air purifiers from some of the trade organization’s other members.
Dr. Blodgett researched what IQAir could offer his practice to enhance it and help achieve his overarching goal. He was so impressed with the technology of the Dental Series Hg and its specialized mercury filtration that he purchased a system.
Not just for mercury vapors
In addition to facilitating safe mercury removal procedures, IQAir’s Dental Series Hg also improves environmental control in dentists’ offices by helping to protect against viruses (including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic), bacteria, disinfectants, and other airborne pollutants.
IQAir’s patented HyperHEPA filtration in the Dental Series filters 95% of all particles down to 0.003 microns – the smallest particles that exist.
“I soon discovered that it is an awesome device for all aerosol collection, so I bought two more so that we would have one for each of our doctor rooms,” enthuses Dr. Blodgett. “We use them for all procedures now. Patient's love the safety that they offer.”
An unexpected benefit
Another way that the Dental Series Hg assisted his business came as a pleasant surprise: the curiosity patients expressed about the interesting-looking air purifier with its long receiving nozzle that draws in 300 cubic feet of air per minute.
“This offers us the opportunity to share about the technology, the improved air quality, and it demonstrates how we invest in the best health for our patients and our practice,” Dr. Blodgett relates.
A big help in challenging times
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, dental offices in the state of Oregon could only deliver emergency treatments. On May 1, 2020, the state eased that restriction to give dentists the option to accept patients for any treatment.
Some in the industry felt that it was still not safe to return to full operations. Dr. Blodgett wasn’t one of them, but he did understand the concerns of those that did worry.
He told Portland television station KATU, “If their practice is not equipped to manage aerosols well right now, it would be wise to take another two weeks or four weeks so that they can be properly prepared to manage the airflow around the patients (1).”
According to Dr. Blodgett, numerous studies have shown how poor dental office air quality tends to be. He cites the dangers of working in an environment like that: “particularly considering the risks of long-term exposure to aerosols and mercury vapor.”
He adds, “This is not only unacceptable but also completely avoidable.”
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“IQAir has been an integral part of both the patient experience and the safety we offer in our practice,” states Dr. Blodgett.
His advice to other dentists considering high performance air filtration is to make that choice sooner than later.
“Don't wait until a patient or, more likely, one of your team members gets sick from chronic exposure to mercury vapor and toxic aerosols. Make the investment for the sake of every person who walks into your office.”
Dr. Blodgett concludes, “Frankly, in my opinion, the price point is so reasonable for the health benefits that IQAir provides, there is no reason why every dental operating room shouldn't have a unit like this. And the cost of maintenance is relatively low so there's no barrier to long-term enjoyment of the system.”
“Your patients and your team will thank you. Not to mention that you will be differentiating your practice for the right reasons.”