There are two components to the saliva ejector (SE) used to remove accumulations of saliva in a patient’s mouth during dental procedures. The first is the actual ejector itself, which is a form of a valve encased in a handle that allows both ease of positioning and use as well as control of the suction.
The second component is the actual tip that is used in the patient’s mouth. Today, virtually all of these components are designed for single-use, providing additional protection for the patient in reducing the possibility of any type of cross-contamination. This is also easier for the dental office as there is no need to sterilize as much equipment, although routine cleaning of the valve and the lines after each patient is essential in the event of any backflow through the system when working with a patient.
Ease of Installation
The saliva ejector is designed to work with a vacuum system, providing a lower pressure system on the vacuum side of the ejector. The SE should be easy to install into the vacuum system tubing. The most effective way is through the use of a barbed end on the SE, which slides into the tubing. Removal is also simple, with a straight pull out from the tubing allowing the SE to slide out for cleaning or replacement.
Lightweight and Durable
Selecting anodized aluminum as the body material for a saliva ejector makes it easy to clean, eliminates any corrosion or wear of the component due to exposure to moisture, and also creates a surface that can be easily disinfected and cleaned. The material of the O-ring in the valve should also be durable and able to stand up to continual disinfecting and cleaning.
The valve control should also be easy to operate, with a lever the preferred option in many dental practices. This provides one hand control of the suction through the SE, making it easy for the operator to control when working with the patient.