Dr. Stephen Chow standing next to the hood of the Pura Air Purifier. The hood is placed over the patient’s mouth and has a separate air ducting to suck up aersols released when a dentist works. / Submitted photo.

Dr. Stephen Chow standing next to the hood of the Pura Air Purifier. The hood is placed over the patient’s mouth and has a separate air ducting to suck up aersols released when a dentist works. / Submitted photo.

Two Mission dental offices among only 5 in B.C. to purchase expensive new air-filtration invention

‘My patients can’t wear masks … There’s no other way around it,’ Dr. Stephen Chow said

Two Mission dental offices have acquired an expensive new air-purifying system, making them some of the only dentists in B.C. to have an added layer of protection against COVID-19.

Dr. Stephen Chow from the Mission Dental Clinic said he paid $25,000 for the Pura Air Purifier system, which are manufactured locally in Abbotsford. And that price doesn’t include the installation costs, he said, which run upwards of $10,000 depending on the office.

“In dentistry, we’re right in people’s smiles and faces and they’re breathing on us, we’re breathing on them – so it wasn’t the safest environment to begin with,” Chow said. “Especially when my patients can’t wear masks … There’s no other way around it.”

The Pura Air Purifer is a recent invention of fellow B.C. dentist, Dr. Wilson Kwong, who is a friend and mentor from Chow’s dental study club. Chow said when the pandemic first hit in March, 90 per cent of dental offices shut down, and only some remained open for emergency procedures.

Kwong developed the system “overnight” by borrowing ideas, and working with a couple of companies, from the HVAC and sheet metal industries, according to Chow.

In the same way that diesel and exhaust fumes are filtered out of barns and train yards, a miniaturized system was created for the dental office.

A special clear hood is placed over the patients mouth and has separate air ducting to suck up the “plumes of mist, water and spit” released when a dentist works on teeth.

“If there is any viruses or bacteria this hood would actually capture it, and [send it] through a UV chamber and charcoal filter and return it back into the building as 99.97 per cent clean air,” Chow said.

The noise from the system runs at around 60 decibels, comparable to a washroom fan, he said.

Chow said that he invested in the machine to keep his patients and staff safe, the later of whom spend eight to 10 hours a day in a potential exposure area.

“How many people might be out there that are asymptomatic that might be carriers and spreading it?” he said. “I can’t put a price on my health or someone else’s health that comes through my office.

“I’d feel guilty about not protecting someone if I could have prevented it … This is probably the best system out there other than if you’re in a hospital with a negative pressure room.”

There are only five offices in B.C. who have the system, including Chow and Dr. Cam Kesteven of Kesteven Dental Care Studio in Mission, along with three other offices in Vancouver.

CoronavirusdentistryMission

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Pura Air Purifier. Submitted photo.

The separate air ducting for the Pura Air Purifier in Dr. Chow's office. Submitted photo.

The Pura Air Purifier. Submitted photo.

Just Posted

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

A man holds a child while speaking with RCMP following an erratic driving incident on Highway 1 in Chilliwack on Friday, April 16, 2021. The child and a woman (but not this man) were in this Jeep Grand Cherokee which hit a barrier and a parked car on Highway 1 and continued driving. The vehicle finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Video image
UPDATE: Bridge traffic moving normally after high-velocity crash involving logging truck

Northbound crash occurred at approximately 2 p.m., involves 6 vehicles, north lanes shut down

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read