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FAQ - Dental Unit Waterlines - 2015
 FAQ - Dental Unit Waterlines - 2015



One of our team members heard that there are 26 states that now require dental unit waterline treatment under their state laws. Do you have a list of those 26 states or know where I could find a list of state regulations?

Many states have adopted the 2003 CDC guidelines for infection control in dentistry as part of their regulatory code. That document can be accessed at this link:  1

In part, it states:

Maintenance and Monitoring of Dental Unit Water
DHCP should be trained regarding water quality, biofilm formation, water treatment methods, and appropriate maintenance protocols for water delivery systems. Water treatment and monitoring products require strict adherence to maintenance protocols, and noncompliance with treatment regimens has been associated with persistence of microbial contamination in treated systems (345). Clinical monitoring of water quality can ensure that procedures are correctly performed and that devices are working in accordance with the manufacturer’s previously validated protocol.

Dentists should consult with the manufacturer of their dental unit or water delivery system to determine the best method for maintaining acceptable water quality (i.e., <500 CFU/mL) and the recommended frequency of monitoring. Monitoring of dental water quality can be performed by using commercial selfcontained test kits or commercial water-testing laboratories. Because methods used to treat dental water systems target the entire biofilm, no rationale exists for routine testing for such specific organisms as Legionella or Pseudomonas, except when investigating a suspected waterborne disease outbreak (244). 1

Ask OSAP is not necessarily familiar with the regulations in every state. It is possible that requirements, regulations, and recommendations can vary by state. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with the state dental board/state dental licensing agency in a specific state to establish what their requirements are.


1)     Kohn WG, Collins AS, Cleveland JL, Harte JA, Eklund KJ, Malvitz DM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings—2003. MMWR Recomm Rep 2003;52(RR-17):1-61.    Accessed on March 15, 2015.





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