For continuous treatment of dental water units.
Bet you never thought while sitting in the dentist chair, that the water swilling around your mouth could be contaminated. Your thoughts at the time are totally focused on hoping the dentist doesn’t ask when was the last time you flossed, right? The surgery is spotless and contaminated dental water lines never cross your mind. Rightly so, it shouldn’t, because routine care of dental water lines are part and parcel of the infection prevention protocol of your local surgery.
However, bacterial growth and biofilm build up are relentless and once in place, are very difficult to remove. Regular disinfection of of dental unit water lines (DUWLs) help to ensure water output is of good quality.
“DUWLs can become contaminated with biofilm”
“Dental unit water lines (DUWLs) can present an infection risk for dental patients. If not appropriately taken care of, DUWLs can become contaminated with biofilm which can harbor pathogenic microorganisms that could pass to the patient. Recently a long-term study (2007-2016) was reported by the Dental School, Umeå, Sweden. The purpose of the study was to monitor the heterotrophic micro-organisms in the DUWLs after treatment with Aquatabs®.
Standard DUWLs were treated with 2.4 ppm chlorine generated from Aquatabs®, while heavily contaminated units were treated with 12 ppm chlorine. The chlorine containing water was then continuously delivered by compressed air.
“No accumulation of biological material was observed”
Over the 10-year period, 3358 samples were analyzed. High quality water was found in the majority of samples after treatment, >70% in year 1 and >90% being compliant in the final year. No corrosion of the metal instruments or the pipes of the dental units were observed. Similarly, when treated with Aquatabs®, no accumulation of biological material was observed.
“No infections related to DUWLs were reported by staff or patients”
During the 10-year period, no infections related to DUWLs were reported by staff or patients. This exciting study demonstrates the benefit of using Aquatabs® for the continuous disinfection of DUWLs.
Find the full study:
MAIN WATER RISKS IN DENTAL SURGERY
According to the HSE, the main water risks in a dental surgery for pathogenic microbes are:
• Aerosolised water from DUWLs which can be swallowed, inhaled or introduced into open wounds
• Water temperature between 20-50°C
• Stagnant water, infrequently used waterlines and slow
• handpiece waterline where water is not routinely used
• Build-up of deposits in water (hard water minerals)
• Wash hand basins and taps
The HSE guidelines for care of dental unit waterlines can be found here: