The EPA sets the standard for safe drinking water quality at no more than 500 CFU/mL of heterotrophic bacteria. As a result, low numbers of waterborne microorganisms
(≤ 500 CFU/mL) are present in the municipal water entering dental offices or our homes.
However, because of the complex design of dental units, the water exiting the unit through dental handpieces, air/water syringes and ultrasonic scalers may contain more than 100,000 CFU/mL if not treated. Research has shown that microbial counts can reach as high as 200,000 CFU/mL within five days after installation of new waterlines.
Dental unit waterlines are inherently problematic for several reasons. The waterlines are ideal breeding grounds for bacterial growth and biofilm due to narrow tubing, inconsistent flow and the retraction of oral fluids. All dental practitioners, as well as patients, are at risk of health problems if water is not properly treated.
To prevent and control microorganism growth, you must follow a dental unit waterline cleaning protocol. The CDC states that all dental units should have a waterline treatment system in place. The system should ensure that water meets drinking water standards. Water bottle systems alone are not sufficient to treat water; you must treat the waterlines that water travels through. If you do not clean the actual waterline tubing or bottle interior to eliminate the bacterial colonies, then your lines are not clean. ‘Clean’ water does not clean or control microbial contamination in dental unit waterlines.
WHERE TO START
Treat Your Waterlines!
• Remove microbial contamination from waterlines and bottles
• Protect staff, patients and handpieces
• Ask Hayes about state of-the-art waterline cleaning options such as Dentapure Waterline Cartridge, Mint-A-Kleen Solution and Sterisil Straw
Get In-Office Training from Hayes!
• We work with your staff to figure out an efficient, practical and cost-effective solution for your practice
• We instruct you on installation and maintenance procedures
Hayes also offers dental-specific OSHA and infection control training.
Relevant, in-person OSHA training and compliance – 1 hour or less!
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HYGIENE AND SURGICAL
CALL YOUR LOCAL HAYES OFFICE FOR ALL YOUR REPAIR NEEDS
ONE-PIECE OPERATIVE CARBIDES
A More Robust Cutting Tool That Resists Breakage
Whatever bur you choose (330, 557, 701, 1157) as the workhorse operative carbide in your practice, consider upgrading to a premium, one-piece carbide– available at the same price you would pay for inferior two-piece carbides.
IN RECENT YEARS, MANY GENERAL DENTISTS AND DENTAL SPECIALISTS HAVE ADOPTED NEW TECHNOLOGY AND DIFFERENT TYPES OF HANDPIECES TO HELP GROW THEIR PRACTICE AND BETTER SERVE THEIRPATIENTS.
In addition to specialists using new tools to improve their dentistry and patient care, general dentists are increasingly bringing endodontic and implant procedures into their practices.
Specialty handpieces require special maintenance. For example, blood and other biofluids on 20:1 implant handpieces can cause excessive corrosion if not properly cleaned. Pretreating handpieces is the first and most important step to maintenance. If you are not going to clean and sterilize immediately after use, you must use an effective pre cleaning treatment such as Hayes Triple Enzyme Foam Cleaner to keep blood and fluids from drying on the handpiece. Never use solvents or other chemicals to clean handpieces.Comprehensive In-Office CE Courses for Dental Professionals
The use of such products may cause the handpiece to malfunction. Once you move into the world of specialty handpieces, it is a good time to look into purchasing a maintenance machine. This equipment makes it easier to precisely clean and lubricate all handpieces and attachments.
With any dental procedures, it is crucial to have extra handpieces on hand, and this is particularly important with endodontic, implant and surgical procedures. Hayes recommends that you have a complete system or at least a secondary handpiece available for use as a backup if you have a handpiece or motor failure during a procedure. When performing endodontic procedures, it’s imperative to have—at the very least—one extra endodontic handpiece sterilized and ready to use. This prevents you from having to finish the procedure painstakingly by hand should a handpiece malfunction.
Handpiece & Sterilizer Maintenance
Improper maintenance is the #1 reason for premature handpiece failure. Protect your investment, and get the maximum life out of your handpieces and sterilizer.
Taking care of your instruments makes them safer and more effective so you can protect your patients while operating at maximum efficiency.
We’ll teach you how to properly clean your vacuum and waterlines, and what products can increase the life of the pump and the efficiency of the vacuum. We’ll also show you ways to keep your waterlines clean and review your operatory lighting. Do you know how to adjust your airlines for the ideal PSI for each handpiece? We’ll show you how.
OSHA & CDC Pain Relief
We’ll review the most common OSHA fines for dental offices and we’ll cover how the CDC guidelines have changed over the years.
The CDC has recently released new guidelines pertaining to dental unit waterlines—the
plastic tubing that carries water to high-speed handpieces, air/water syringes and ultrasonic scalers. Dental unit waterlines are inherently problematic for several
reasons. The waterlines are ideal breeding grounds for bacterial growth and biofilm due to narrow tubing, inconsistent flow, and the retraction of oral fluids. There have been several high-profile news stories in recent months about dental offices infecting patients—in some cases children—with bacterial infections. In one Southern California
case, 14 children were hospitalized with localized dental abscesses that were at risk of infecting nearby bone. The bacteria leading to these infections were directly traced to the office’s waterlines. The county health officer required a complete replacement of the on-site water system to remove the potential threat of infection. In a separate Atlanta-area case, more than a dozen children were diagnosed with a bacterial infection believed to be caused by contaminated water.*
All dental practitioners as well as patients are at risk of health problems if the water is not properly treated. The CDC states that all dental units should have a waterline treatment system in place. The system should ensure that water meets drinking water
standards, which is ≤ 500 CFU/mL of heterotrophic water bacteria. Water bottle
systems alone are not sufficient to treat water; you must treat the waterlines that water travels through.
New CDC Guidelines: What You Need to Know
The Oral Health Division of the CDC recently released new recommendations. The recommendations are extensive but here we highlight a few key areas that your practice should be aware of.
Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items and Devices
The CDC recommends that cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of dental equipment be handled by a dental professional who has been thoroughly trained in a multistep process. The latest guidelines specify that handpieces and attachments, including low-speed motors and reusable prophy angles, should be heat sterilized between patients and not just cleaned and disinfected. Studies have revealed that these items can be contaminated with patient materials during use. If these devices are not properly cleaned and heat sterilized, the next patient may be exposed to potentially infectious materials. In order to follow these guidelines, your practice must have enough low-speed motors, attachments, and prophy angles to allow for sterilizations between patients. This translates to at least 3 of everything: one for use in the operatory, one in the sterilizer (for the next patient), and a backup. In many cases, the cleaning and sterilization process is longer than the patient visit, meaning there is a handpiece being used on a patient, one in the sterilizer, and one being processed but not fully sterilized. It’s impossible to follow the guidelines without the necessary equipment allotted to each operatory and it also depends on patient load.
Clean Before Sterilizing
The CDC is also recommending that handpieces, instruments, and attachments—anything that is going to be sterilized—be cleaned before going into the sterilizer. If blood, saliva, and other contamination are not removed, these materials can shield microorganisms and potentially compromise the disinfection or sterilization process. The CDC recommends the use of automated cleaning equipment to improve cleaning effectiveness and decrease exposure to blood. After cleaning, dried instruments should be inspected, wrapped, packaged, or placed into container systems before heat sterilization.
Packages should be labeled to show the sterilizer used, the cycle or load number, the date of sterilization, and, if applicable, the expiration date in case of a sterilization failure.
For more information about the latest CDC guidelines or for in-office staff training on maintenance procedures (for CE credits), please contact your local Hayes office
What’s Stinking Up Your Operatory
If you don’t clean your dental unit waterlines, microorganisms grow into slimy bacterial colonies and attach to waterline tubing, causing foul odors and taste, and leading to equipment corrosion. To give you an idea of the number of bacteria
in your waterlines, the CDC guidelines explain that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the standard for safe drinking water quality at no more than 500 CFU/mL of heterotrophic bacteria. As a result, low numbers of waterborne microorganisms (≤ 500 CFU/mL) are present in the municipal water entering
dental offices or our homes. However, because of the complex design of dental
units, the water exiting the unit through dental handpieces, air/water syringes, and ultrasonic scalers may contain more than 100,000 CFU/mL if not treated.
Research has shown that microbial counts can reach as high as 200,000 CFU/mL within five days after installation of new waterlines and levels of microbial contamination as high as 106 CFU/mL have been documented. Although the scientific evidence indicates there is little risk of health problems due to contact with water from a dental unit, exposing patients or dental personnel to the water of uncertain microbiological quality is inconsistent with generally accepted infection control principles. To prevent and control microorganism growth, you
must follow a dental unit waterline cleaning protocol.
It’s not about treating the water. If you do not clean the actual waterline
tubing or bottle interior to eliminate the bacterial colonies, then your lines are not clean. ‘Clean’ water does not clean or control microbial contamination in dental unit waterlines.
HAYES will train your office on waterline maintenance
Call your local HAYES office to schedule your training today!
Treat Your Waterlines!
*Remove microbial contamination from waterlines and bottles
*Protect staff, patients, and handpieces!
*Ask Hayes about these state-of-the-art waterline cleaning options:
• Dentapure Waterline
• Mint-A-Kleen Solution
• Sterisil Straw
We can work with your staff to figure out an efficient, practical, and cost-effective solution for your practice. And we’ll instruct you on installation and maintenance procedures.
Jo Hayes Honored by Dental Products Report
Top 25 Women in Dentistry 2014
25 women who have impacted the dental industry
Read the article in DPR
Your Source for Industry News & Information
August 2013 – How Are You Treating Your Dental Unit Waterlines? Why It’s Too Important to Overlook?