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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 46-52

Awareness and estimation of bacterial contamination of dental unit waterlines in dental clinics and dental institutions in Mysore City, Karnataka

Department of Community Dentistry, J.S.S. Dental College and Hospital Mysore, India

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Background: With increasing stress on infection control in recent years, concerns have been raised about bacterial growth in slowly moving waterlines such as those in dental office. A range of opportunistic pathogens have been reported to be associated with dental unit water systems causing nosocomial infections in dental patients. Therefore this study was undertaken. To assess the bacterial contamination of dental unit water system in dental clinics and dental institutions in Mysore. To assess the knowledge and practices of dentists regarding co ntaminatio n of waterlines. Material and Methods: As per random sampling, one Dental Institution and fifty private clinics, in Mysore city were selected for the study. Data on the awareness about the contamination of waterlines was collected with the help of questionnaire distributed among 58 Dentists, among which 50 were private practioners and 8 were Heads of each Department in the Dental Institution. Collection of water samples: One sample each, from all the 8 departments in the Dental Institution and another 8 samples, one each from 8 different private Dental Clinics were collected and analysed quantitatively for bacterial contamination in water analysis laboratory. Results: It was observed that 52% of the dentists use tap water in their waterlines, 47% carried out periodic cleaning using plain water. No chemical agents were used. Water samples from the air water syringes revealed high level of bacterial counts with an average of 31,788 CFU/ml of planktonic or free floating bacteria exceeding the ADA guidelines of 200 CFU/ml. Conclusion: This study therefore shows the need to create more awareness about contamination control measures and techniques among Dentists regarding the Dental unit waterlines. A reasonable protocol for disinfecting and monitoring of the water supply in busy dental practices is required urgently, so water used for dental patient treatment satisfies accepted, safe public health standards. Some guidelines should be charted out.

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