How to Combat Bacteria in Dental Water Lines
Biofilm formation in dental unit water lines (DUWLs) has long been an issue in dentistry. If left untreated, it poses a significant threat of spreading infection to patients and staff members.
Biofilm forms readily in DUWLs for a variety of reasons, not least because in most treatment centres water is delivered by a network of narrow bore tubing at a low flow rate - typically 30ml/min - providing an ideal environment for biofilm to develop.
Routine monitoring of the water quality in DUWLs is essential for combating bacteria growth and improving patient and staff safety. Here’s what you can do.
Testing dental water lines
Biological dip slides are a straightforward way of identifying microbial contamination of water systems and many practices use them on a quarterly basis as a proactive method of keeping on top of dental unit water line compliance.
Dip slides are quick and easy to use - simply insert a dip slide into your sample of input water, let the paddle briefly drain then place it in the clear tube provided and store for two days if incubated at 30°C, or three days if stored at room temperature.
Repeat with a sample of output water (for example, from your 3-in-1 line). Any visible red spots that subsequently form on the slide indicate that there is contamination in the waterline.
Purging dental water lines
If testing indicates bacteria counts are building, purge cleaning should be carried out using a suitable CE marked biofilm remover such as Bioclear.
Bioclear is a ready-to-use solution that requires no mixing. It has proven efficacy of removing biofilm to enable waterlines to maintain water quality of <200 cfu/ml, in line with HTM 01-05 section 6.79 (subject to water quality).
How to flush dental water lines
Bioclear is poured into the chair’s water bottle, drawn through so it fills the water lines and left for a minimum of 12 hours or over a weekend before being flushed through with fresh water until the water runs clear.
Two is better than one
Routine treatment is essential to reduce the formation of biofilm and keep bacterial counts in output water as low as possible.
Bioclear Daily is the perfect partner to Bioclear. This easy-to-use disinfectant is designed for continuous use in DUWLs to inhibit the formation of biofilm.
This proven product, backed by robust technical evidence, works by keeping the amounts of planktonic bacteria in the waterline system at acceptable levels without interfering with everyday practice routine.