Poor microbiological Dental Unit Water (DUW) quality associated with generated aerosols during dental procedures, could be an important source for transmission of pathogenic bacteria.
Dental chair units are equipped with a flexible, plastic tubing that supply water to all dental instruments (air/water syringe, turbine, rinsing equipment). Biofilm and bacterial contamination are often observed in the complex dental unit. Bacterial numbers per ml in DUW can reach several millions overnight. Opportunistic bacteria such as Legionella pneumophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have previously been revealed in biofilms. In addition, Staphylococcus sp., isolated from DUW, could be resistant to several antibiotics.
Legionella pneumophila is the major agent of Legionnaire’s disease (LD) and Pontiac fever. The estimated incidence rate of LD in the European Union (EU) is 100 per million. Approximately two thirds of reported cases of LD in the EU are community-acquired.
Recent studies have shown that Legionella is one of the most common agents of community-acquired pneumonia in Germany. A recent study has reported a transmission of L. pneumophila from a dental unit to a patient, who died from septic shock. The role of the dental unit as source of infection was proved by molecular fingerprinting techniques.
Biological analysis accessible to practitioners
Unit Oral: Microbiological analysis of dental unit water. Quantitative and qualitative diagnosis of bacterial load with the identification of:
- Legionella pneumophilia
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Total flora
Benefits for the practitioner:
- Minimize the risk of exposure to potentially pathogenic agents
- Create a climate of trust for your staff and your patients
- Safe water usage