Dust-X inventor, Karrie Velky, is no stranger to innovation. As a dental hygienist for 19 years and counting, Velky is quite familiar with common problems facing dental professionals. What sets her apart is her drive to create solutions to these problems when no other solutions are available on the market.
Velky has been a practicing dental hygienist for over 19 years. The majority of her career has been spent in general private practice with the exception of three years she spent in a perio office. Velky also spent part of her career as an adjunct clinical instructor for Kirkwood Community College's dental hygiene program.
When asked what inspired her to become a dental hygienist, Velky replied, “I knew I wanted to do something in healthcare. I wanted to help people. My mom was a dental assistant and kind of talked me into dental hygiene. I'm so grateful she did.”
When we say Karrie Velky is no stranger to innovation, we mean it. Prior to the invention of Dust-X, Karrie Velky already had Pink Petal by Zirc under her belt as an inventor. Velky is currently producing another revolutionary invention — details will be available later this year.
The problem of acrylic dust contaminating patient rooms is something that has plagued Velky since the start of her career.
“I got tired of cleaning up after it. They would leave the room covered in the disgusting denture dust and I’d be totally grossed out. It was a health hazard even before the pandemic was a concern, but now there’s so much more at stake” said Velky.
Like any innovator, Velky knew there had to be a solution to this long-standing problem. She began working on prototypes, testing them, and adjusting them until they met her expectations. The next step in the process was submitting for a patent and finding a company to pick up the idea to help bring it to life — that’s where Yates Motloid comes in.
Velky reached out to Yates Motloid with her invention and we began to produce Dust-X and get it out to dental offices across the globe. Dust-X became available for purchase in 2019, just prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Dust-X is a clear, disposable chair side adjustment container with adjustable openings to accommodate hands and tools. Dentists grind the acrylic and make necessary adjustments inside the container. Particles produced by adjustments are collected inside Dust-X for easy disposal with minimal clean-up. Dust-X is resistant to nicks from burs due to the FDA-grade material, so there are no worries about puncturing the container and making a mess during the adjustment.
Dust-X is designed to be a sanitary precaution while eliminating the need for the dentist to go to the lab during an appointment. Reducing foot traffic, optimizing appointment time, and eliminating contaminated aerosols are the three main benefits of Dust-X.
Apart from infection control, Dust-X has been a huge time-saver for dental professionals.
“Last year when it first launched, it was like a sigh of relief,” recalled Velky. “My doctor could do chair side adjustments, but we wouldn't have the mess to clean up. Not to mention we were no longer breathing in the particles left behind. The assistants love it for air abrasion when cleaning cement out of a crown; they also love it for trimming night guards and TMJ splints.”
Dr. Joseph Lenz confirms the success they’ve seen with Dust-X: “Dust X is a super convenient way to control acrylic denture debris and temporary material dust in the operatory. I love being able to feel comfortable adjusting things chair side without having to run back to the lab multiple times. Infection control is a priority in our office and Dust X is a great product to have in your toolbox to keep your operatory room clean.”
Protective health measures have always been of utmost importance in any dental office, but now with the current COVID-19 pandemic and the expectation of a second wave coming this autumn, dentists have been buckling down to ensure their patients’ and staff’s safety.
Regarding the current global health pandemic, Velky says “Dust-X plays a huge role in infection control. We can't do things like we used to. We have to be much more conscious of containing potentially contaminated aerosols, and Dust-X solves that problem.”
Adjusting to a new reality is no easy feat, especially with new information and guidelines surfacing regularly. Dust-X aims to help dentists make this transition easier while being able to assure patients and staff that sanitation efforts are being implemented every step of the way.