Dental Waterline Infection Alert

Dental Waterline Infection Alert

Posted by Dental Didactics CE: Dental Board of California Registered CE Provider #RP3768, Academy of General Dentistry National PACE Provider #217643 on Nov 1st 2022

CDC Health Alert regarding dental waterlines:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a health advisory (dated October 31, 2022) calling attention to non-tuberculous Mycobacteria infections contracted from contaminated dental unit waterlines. Several cases have been reported recently associated with pediatric dental procedures (usually pulpotomies). Young children affected by the infections required treatment including hospitalization, IV antibiotic therapy, and surgery. They suffered complications ranging from tooth loss, to hearing loss, facial nerve damage, and incision fibrosis.

CDC waterline safety recommendations:

As part of the Health Advisory, the CDC issued the following dental waterline safety recommendations:

  • Dental waterline output water should minimally meet the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water: less than 500 colony-forming units (CFUs) per milliliter
  • Monitor water quality per dental unit manufacturer recommendations
  • Consider irrigating with sterile water and/or antimicrobial solution during all non-surgical pulpal therapies
  • Utilize water bottle delivery systems independent of potentially contaminated sources

For additional information see our CE course on Dental Waterline Safety 2022