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5/31/2018 » 6/3/2018
2018 OSAP Annual Conference

2016 Annual Conf DUWL

OSAP 2016 Annual Conference - Leading the Way to the Safest Dental Visit™

TITLE    Dental Unit Waterlines— Lessons Learned from a GA Outbreak



Awareness of water contamination as a potential source of infection transmission has increased in recent years.  Despite attempts to control microbial accumulation, waterborne bacteria have been responsible for recent infection transmissions. For example, an outbreak of Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium (Mycobacterium abscessus) due to contaminated water occurred in Atlanta in 2015. In this incident, a number of pre-school and school-aged children were infected and experienced facial swelling, cervical lymphadenopathy, osteomyelitis, oral lesions and pulmonary nodules. State epidemiologists identified a dental clinic as the source of the outbreak. This session will review the outbreak, describe lessons learned, and reinforce the importance of dental unit waterline maintenance to prevent future transmission incidents.




Shannon Mills DDS (Facilitator)

J C Shirley DMD, MS

Carol Smith RDH, MSHA




After attending this program, participants should be able to:

  • Describe reasons why dental unit waterlines provide an optimal environment for biofilm proliferation.

  • Discuss the potential for human infection due to contaminated water from dental units.

  • Discuss the Georgia Mycobacterium abscessus outbreak and how to incorporate lessons learned to enhance compliance.





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