Dental Unit Waterline Cleaning Policy
Purpose: This policy provides infection control recommendations that should be followed to eliminate pathogens that may be present and multiply in dental unit waterlines.
- Sterile irrigating solutions shall be used for all surgical procedures that involve the cutting of bone.
- When replacing dental units and devices, select products that can economically and reliably maintain water quality.
- Cleaning dental unit waterlines shall be done on a bi-weekly basis, using an approved FDA (Food and Drug Administration) product to clean the lines (see Addendum I attached).
- For quality assurance purposes, the date of cleaning the waterlines will be recorded in a log book and maintained in each department.
- Dental unit waterline sampling will be done on a quarterly basis and reported to the Infection Control Committee. The Department Chair and/or appropriate clinical staff will be notified of any water line showing contamination (greater than 500 cfu/ml).
Fotos P.G., Westfall H.H., Snyder I.S., Miller R.W., Mutchler B.M., Prevalence of Legionella-specific IgG and IgM antibody in a dental clinic population. J. Hosp. Infec. 1985; 64: 1382-5.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA Technical manual TED 1-0.15A, 1999, U.S. Dept. of Labor.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Recommended infection control practices for dentistry, 1993. MMWR 1993; 42(No. RR-8):1-12.
Dental unit waterlines: approaching the year 2000. ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. JADA 1999; 130(11):1653-64.
Mayo J.A., Oetling K.M. and Andrieu S.C.,Bacterial biofilm: a source of contamination in dental air-water syringes. Clin. Prev. Dent. 1990. 12(2): p. 13-20.
Williams H.N., Kelley J., Folineo D., et al. Assessing microbial contamination in clean water dental units and compliance with disinfection protocol. JADA 1994; 125: 1205-11.
Last Modified: 04/30/2010