Water Line Contamination in the Dental Office

Dental unit water systems (DUWS) harbor bacterial biofilms, which are known reservoirs for pathogens.1 In 1995, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs responded to scientific evidence that suggested the microbiologic quality of water used in dental treatment required improvement.2 A call to action was taken on the design of dental equipment. By the year 2000, water used during nonsurgical dental procedures consistently contained no more than 200 colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) of aerobic mesophilic heterotrophic bacteria in the unfiltered output of the dental unit. A heterotroph is “an organism that cannot fix carbon from inorganic sources (such as carbon dioxide) but uses organic carbon for growth.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterotroph These bacteria are not necessarily harmful, but determining the heterotrophic plate count is used as an indication of the amount of residual disinfectant present in a water supply. Since then, technological advances have made this possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that “coolant water used in nonsurgical dental procedures meet EPA regulatory standards for drinking water,” which is less than or equal to 500 CFU of heterotrophic bacteria per milliliter of water. This recommendation was published in the CDC’s Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings—2003. (Guidelines from the CDC differ about water used in oral surgical procedures.) 

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 3 CE credit(s)

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at lwinfield@endeavorb2b.com.

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is 59 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: . Expires 4/14/20 0:00. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”

    PACE

    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2019 to 10/31/2022.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 13

    AADH

    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2021-December 31, 2022). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.

    ADA CERP

    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at ada.org/goto/cerp.

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