Risk of electromagnetic interference induced by dental equipment on cardiac implantable electrical devices

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Abstract

Patients with cardiac implantable electrical devices should take special precautions when exposed to electromagnetic fields. Proximity to equipment used in clinical dentistry may cause interference. This study evaluated in vitro the risks associated with different types/makes of cardiac devices and types of dental equipment. Six electronic dental tools were tested on three implantable cardioverter defibrillators and three pacemakers made by different manufacturers. Overall, the risk of interference with the pacemakers was 37% lower than with the implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Regarding the types/makes of cardiac devices analysed, that from Boston Scientific had a five-fold greater risk of interference than did that from Biotronik [prevalence ratio (PR) = 5.58]; there was no difference between that from Biotronik and that from Medtronic. Among the dental equipment, the electric pulp tester had the greatest risk of inducing interference and therefore this device was used as the benchmark. The electronic apex locator (PR = 0.29), Periotest M (PR = 0.47), and the ultrasonic dental scaler (PR = 0.59) were less likely to induce interference than the electric pulp tester. The risk was lowest with the electronic apex locator. Pacemakers presented a lower risk of light to moderate interference (PR = 0.63). However, the risk of severe electromagnetic interference was 3.5 times higher with pacemakers than with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (PR = 3.47).

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