2.6 Portable Dental Unit Water Quality

Water bottle CDC recommends that water used for routine dental treatment meets EPA regulatory standards for drinking water (i.e., 500 CFU/mL of heterotrophic water bacteria).2 Some manufacturers of portable dental equipment advise that tap water (of good quality from a municipal supply) or distilled or purified water be used in the water-supply bottle. Programs should consult with the manufacturer of their dental units for appropriate methods and equipment to maintain and monitor dental-unit water quality.2

Dental water line cleaners should be used according to the manufacturer’s directions and in accordance with the dental unit manufacturer’s recommendations. Some manufacturers also recommend draining the water at the end of each day.

CDC recommends that water and air be flushed for a minimum of 20–30 seconds after each patient from any device connected to the dental water system that enters the patient’s mouth (e.g., air/water syringe) to expel organisms that may have been drawn into the waterline.2