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Oral Health Topics

Dental Unit Waterlines

Key Points

  • The CDC recommends that dental unit water used in non-surgical procedures measure less than or equal to 500 colony forming units of heterotrophic bacteria per milliliter (≤500 CFU/mL) of water, the standard set for drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 
  • Use sterile saline or sterile water as a coolant/irrigant when performing surgical procedures.
  • Follow dental unit manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining and monitoring the quality of dental unit water.
  • Introduction
  • Cleaning Dental Unit Waterlines
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • References
  • ADA Resources
  • Other Resources
Prepared by: Center for Science Information, ADA Science Institute
Last Updated: September 1, 2017

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