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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 170-174

Changing face of infection control: Dental unit water lines

Department of Prosthodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore - 575 001, India

Correspondence Address:
Shobha Rodrigues
Department of Prosthodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore - 575 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4052.21630

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The quality of dental unit water is of considerable importance since patients, staff are regularly exposed to water and aerosols generated from the unit. The contamination of dental unit waterlines (DUWL) is an issue that is of great concern to the dental profession, including Prosthodontics since the water in these lines has the capacity for rapid development of biofilms combined with the generation of potentially contaminated aerosols becoming an ideal environment for the growth of microorganisms. This article describes the conditions in waterline tubing that favour development of biofilms and discusses the level of risk that such microbial growth poses for both dental professionals and their patients. It is stressed that very few cases of infection have been linked directly to contamination in dental unit waterlines. Finally, potential solutions for minimizing risks are presented and discussed.

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