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How Safe Are Your Dental Unit Waterlines? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Dental Waterline Infection Control
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Bacteria can easily grow in the small-diameter tubing of your dental unit waterlines. Learn how dental waterline treatment and testing of this threat is essential to maintaining patient safety.

The Biofilm Threat

  • Colonizing bacteria grows and forms a coating of biofilm, resulting in unpleasant odors and unsafe water.
  • Bacteria in dental waterlines, such as mycobacterium, can cause serious infections and illness.
  • In recent years, there were major bacterial outbreaks in California and Georgia. In both cases, many pediatric patients contracted serious infections.

Dental Unit Water Quality Guidelines

Both the ADA and CDC recommend that dental water meets the EPA standard for safe drinking water, which is < 500 Colony Forming Units (CFU) per mL of heterotrophic water bacteria.

You Don’t Know Unless You Test

While you may be treating your water or purging your lines, that doesn’t mean the threat is eliminated. How will you know whether your treatment method is effective unless you test?

  1. Test the bacterial content of your water so you understand the water quality level.
  2. Review the results and determine the right solution to maintain your water quality at acceptable levels.
  3. Test regularly to ensure your water management system is working.

What You Need to Test Dental Unit Waterlines