SafeLink Consulting Blog

CDC Health Alert Regarding Dental Waterline Maintenance

Mary Bartlett
Posted by Mary Bartlett on Dec 1, 2022 1:56:25 PM

On October 31, 2022 the CDC Health Alert Network issued an advisory regarding the importance for maintaining and monitoring dental waterlines. The alert indicates that there is an investigation underway on a March 2022 cluster of suspected nontuberculous Mycobacteria infections in children. CDC has reported multiple outbreaks of these infections in children who received pulpotomies in pediatric dental clinics where the dental treatment water contained high levels of bacteria. Dental practices should be using the CDC’s 2003 and 2016 infection control guidelines which are specific to dentistry to develop and implement policies and procedures for the protection of their patients.

CDC recommends that all dental unit waterlines be treated regularly with disinfectants to meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory standards for drinking water (i.e., ≤500 colony forming units (CFU)/mL of heterotrophic water bacteria). The maintenance of these waterlines in a dental unit can vary depending on the source of the water and the type of equipment in use. Some dental units can only provide water from the city water source which requires treatment prior to entry into the dental unit. Some dental units are equipped with bottles that can be filled with tap water, distilled water, or sterile water. There are waterline maintenance products on the market that can be used in the bottles and there are straws that are attached to the unit inside the bottles to continuously disinfect dental unit water lines while providing safe and clean water for your patients, staff, and dental unit.

Depending on the maintenance protocol being used, the waterlines require shocking on a periodic basis to aid in keeping them safe. When using bottles and a cleaner, the shocking is typically performed monthly. When the straws are in use, the frequency will depend on how often the straws are changed. The shocking procedure itself will vary depending on the shock product so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How do you know if your maintenance protocols are working? Of course, it’s by testing. As indicated by CDC monitoring of the waterlines is the other important component. There are a number of methods for testing so research them to determine the best method that can be used in your practice. These can range from internal testing to a third-party lab test. Whatever you decide to use just make sure you test to determine if your maintenance protocols are working. If they aren’t, then contact an expert like ProEdge Dental Water Labs to help you evaluate your options.

CDC Issues Advisory on Waterline Maintenance - Are Your Protocols Up to Speed? Join us on December 9, 2022 at 1pm EST for this educational live broadcast to learn more about the CDC advisory on waterline maintenance and what actions you should take. Provided complimentary by SafeLink Consulting, Inc. and ProEdge Dental Water Labs.

The objectives of this course are to:
• Make attendees aware of the latest CDC health alert regarding waterlines
• Discuss waterline maintenance protocols
• Review waterline monitoring options

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory on October 31, 2022 regarding the outbreak of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria infections and highlighted the importance of maintaining and monitoring dental waterlines. The investigation into this recent cluster is ongoing but don’t wait until the results are in to determine if your waterlines are being appropriately treated to reduce the risk of adverse health effects in your patients. This live broadcast will be presented by Kellie Thimmes, Senior Consultant & Education Specialist at ProEdge Dental Water Labs. Kellie will discuss the recommendations for waterline maintenance for lines on City water and lines with bottles. SafeLink Consulting’s experience in dental practices throughout the U.S. show that there is a real need for dentists and staff to understand how to maintain waterlines.

Space is limited for this course but will be recorded for viewing by those who are unable to attend. SafeLink Consulting is the AGD provider and will provide 45 Minutes of AGD PACE FAGD/MAGD credit for AGD subject code 130. Contact Mary Bartlett at 470-533-2582 or if you have any questions about this course. 

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Learn more about what SafeLink Consultincan do to help your business with compliance services, including patient safety and staff Dental OSHA Compliance, to meet OSHA training requirements, CDC guidelines, and quality system consulting to meet FDA compliance.  SafeLink Consulting assists businesses with workplace safety training, infection control training, HIPAA training online, quality systems, assessments, audits, due diligence, and more.

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Industries that SafeLink Consulting works with include:

Dentistry compliance - assisting the dental practice with meeting requirements for OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, and CDC guidelines, patient safety and employee health & safety

Dental Laboratory compliance - assisting the dental lab with meeting requirements for OSHA, FDA, and CDC guidelines, employee health & safety, plus FDA requirements for lab manufacturing custom implant abutment /GMP for medical device manufacturers

Medical Device Manufacturers compliance - assisting with meeting OSHA compliance & FDA requirements, GMP - good manufacturing practices

General Industry compliance - assisting with OSHA compliance and FDA compliance as it pertains to the specific business

Beverage Industry compliance - assisting beverage businesses such as the craft brewery, winery, cidery, distillery, vintner with meeting OSHA compliance, health & safety, FDA requirements / GMP - Good Manufacturing Practices

Topics: General Industry, Dentistry, Health & Safety, OSHA Compliance & Penalties, CDC Guidance, Infection Control

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