The following is a primer on waterline disinfection and current recommendations for protocol.
Why You Need to do Waterline Disinfection
Even though modern dental units have non-retracting water valves inside, bacteria will always find its way into the waterline necessary to begin building a biofilm matrix. Many assume if the city water has diluted chlorine then it would eliminate biofilm, but it does not. It is due to the very nature and design of dental tubing versus household plumbing, which is why waterline disinfection is required in your dental units. The larger diameter of household plumbing provides a high flow rate to surface area for water flowing through the lines and essentially flushes the lines clear. On the other hand, dental waterline tubing is very small in diameter within handpiece lines. Given the very low volume of water used during a dental procedure is a slight fog spray of water for drilling, the flow rate of water to surface area of the tubing is incredibly low. This results in a matrix of bacteria that builds up on the inside wall of the tubing. Even flushing the lines with higher flow without the handpiece attached will not be sufficient to dislodge the biofilm matrix and keep it from growing. So, all dental units require some type of waterline disinfection to control the biofilm from growing within the tubing. Otherwise, the bacteria biofilm will grow to the point that it can release high bacteria counts to patients during treatment.
What Methods Are Commonly Available?
The criteria would include: effectively mitigates biofilm growth, safe for patient use, does not damage equipment gaskets and cost effective to use. There are numerous methodologies that have been developed over the years ranging from liquids, tablets that dissolve, pick up tube cartridges, and central water treatment systems. All of these will have their purported benefits, but may also have drawbacks.
What Not to Use
After researching for years and obtaining valuable feedback on methods our customers were using, we gathered a wealth of information. We found that dissolvable tablets and pills are not recommended as their residue can gradually buildup and potentially block connections and narrow passageways. They may also adversely affect expensive handpieces over time. Some brands of the drop in tablets are caustic and will damage O-rings and gaskets within the delivery system. Certain powder mixtures, shock treatments and bleach contain harsh chemicals and damage gaskets and corrode valves. We also found some pick up straws tend to clog easily.
Why We Recommend DentaPure Cartridges for ASI Dental Delivery Systems
Ease of Use – It installs in minutes and once the cartridge is installed, there is no daily staff attention or monitoring required for the life of the cartridge. This way there is no concern if a daily protocol was forgotten and staff time is used more beneficially in the practice.
No Shocking Needed – Shocking is an antiquated protocol that basically admits the disinfection method wasn’t working, so it is necessary to periodically chemically shock the biofilm to kill it. DentaPure goes to work every time water is run through the cartridge, so there is not a need to have to periodically bring down the bacteria count.
No Special Requirements for Water – Unlike some brands, you can use either tap or distilled water.
Does not Damage Equipment -With DentaPure cartridges there are no harsh chemicals that will damage the O-rings, gaskets or valves within the ASI dental system.
Safe for Patient Use – The elemental iodine is safe for patients to ingest and does not cause allergic reactions.
Effective at Controlling Biofilm – Studies have illustrated its effectiveness and feedback from our own customers has demonstrated its effectiveness.
Anti-Viral – Iodine is highly anti-viral and may be beneficial in mitigating viruses in aerosols.
Cost Effective – Not only will you save time, but money too! With 365 days of use, the cost of one DentaPure cartridge averages out to $0.54 per day. This is less expensive than most other waterline treatments.
How Does the DentaPure Waterline Disinfection Cartridge Work?
The DentaPure Cartridge contains non-allergenic iodinated resin beads. As water passes through, the resin releases 2 – 6 ppm of atomic isotopes of elemental iodine during a typical dental treatment. The isotopes control the bacteria, keeping dental unit water safe for 365 days. The DentaPure is a slim cartridge that simply hangs down inside the water bottle.
Save time and money with DentaPure cartridges by reducing waterline treatment to a simple, annual routine. Remember to do some follow up testing of your water lines to ensure you are getting the desired results.
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