Capacity of dental equipment to interfere with cardiac implantable electrical devices

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Abstract

Patients with cardiac implantable electrical devices should take precautions when exposed to electromagnetic fields. Possible interference as a result of proximity to electromagnets or electricity flow from electronic tools employed in clinical odontology remains controversial. The objective of this study was to examine in vitro the capacity of dental equipment to provoke electromagnetic interference in pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Six electronic dental instruments were tested on three implantable cardioverter defibrillators and three pacemakers from different manufacturers. A simulator model, submerged in physiological saline, with elements that reproduced life-size anatomic structures was used. The instruments were analyzed at differing distances and for different time periods of application. The dental instruments studied displayed significant differences in their capacity to trigger electromagnetic interference. Significant differences in the quantity of registered interference were observed with respect to the variables manufacturer, type of cardiac implant, and application distance but not with the variable time of application. The electronic dental equipment tested at a clinical application distance (20 cm) provoked only slight interference in the pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators employed, irrespective of manufacturer.

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