Water Quality and Biofilms
Many patients wonder if the water used in a dentist's office is safe and free of germs. Scientific reports have not linked illness with water passing through dental water lines. If you are concerned about the water quality, ask my office about it. Our office follows the infection control guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association.
In today's world, many patients are concerned with the spread of infection during medical treatments. You may have heard of "biofilms," which are microscopic communities that consist primarily of naturally occurring water bacteria and fungi.
Biofilms form thin layers on virtually all surfaces, including dental instruments such as the thin tubes used to deliver water during treatment. These common microbes or germs also accumulate inside objects around your home, such as like showerheads and faucets.
Scientific reports have not linked illness to water passing through dental water lines.
When an individual's immune system is compromised because of age, smoking, heavy drinking, being a transplant or cancer patient, or as a result of HIV infection, he or she may have more difficulty fighting off germs.
For this reason, the American Dental Association encourages patients who have weak or compromised immune systems to notify their dentist prior to seeking treatment.
The ADA has set rigid standards for the purity of water used in the dentist office. In 1995, the ADA called for equipment providing unfiltered water with no more than 200 CFU/ml (colony-forming units per milliliter) by the year 2000.