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30 Sep 2021 | Australasian Dental Practice

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A-dec offers new biofilm testing device

During this period of heightened focus on infection control within the dental practice, A-dec has introduced a useful new product to accurately and easily test the microbiological quality of dental unit water lines and surfaces in dental clinics.


The 2-Minute Water Control System rapidly and accurately determines the presence of biofilm in dental unit waterlines to enable monitoring and action as required.

A-dec Product Manager, Angie Wong, said the 2-Minute Water Control System provides accurate results in just two minutes, eliminating incubation periods or the need to send samples to a laboratory. A water sample is taken from the dental unit waterline and by adding a few drops of reagents, produces a result which is immediately interpreted and displayed on a Lumitester Smart device.

In the case of microbiological shifts, the dental team can then use the results to implement A-dec’s recommended maintain, monitor and shock waterline maintenance guide to ensure infection control protocols are maintained.

Mrs Wong said the advantage of this digital test device was rapid and accurate chairside results, without the long wait times and inaccurate manual verification methods of commonly used bacteria swab test kits.

The Lumitester uses ATP-metry - which measures the presence of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by counting the number of photons emitted by the bioluminescence reaction and displays the results in RLU (Relative Light Units). ATP is present in all living organisms, providing early warning of biofilm build-up at small concentrations. This technology is widely used in the food industry and medical settings to test for harmful biofilms. When used with the 2-Minute Water Control reagent kit, ATP is converted to colony forming units (CFU) to determine the bacterial load of the water sample.

“The ADA advises that it’s good practice to test water lines on a regular basis, for example 6-monthly or annually,” Mrs Wong said. “There has been no change in the ADA’s target level of 200 CFU/mL in dental unit waterlines, however, clinics often set their own levels such as 100 CFU/mL as a trigger point for action.”

When high counts are found, the waterlines will need to undergo additional shock or sanitising treatments. The 2-Minute Water Control System provides the following guidelines for action.

When a measurement is:

  • Below the warning threshold (conformity), the facility is under control and no additional action is required.
  • Between the warning threshold and the alarm threshold (enhanced monitoring i.e. more frequent testing), the facility does not present an immediate biohazard.*
    * A corrective action is recommended if three consecutive measurements are above the warning threshold
  • Above the alarm threshold (corrective action), the facility is not under control. A quick corrective action is recommended (shock treatment, cleaning, disinfection).

Mrs Wong explained that dental unit waterlines were susceptible to biofilm build-up because of the narrow water passages in dental equipment and the slow movement of water through the water lines. The problem is greatly exacerbated if equipment has been left idle.

To satisfy the practical needs of Australian dentists, Mrs Wong said A-dec chose a luminometer that is quick and convenient and - above all - gives reliable results.

The Kikkoman Lumitester with LuciPac A3 swabs are also available to check and monitor surfaces on equipment and in surgeries.

“Independent laboratory testing confirms that the Kikkoman A3 technology provides detection of residues at levels much lower than other tests on the market by an order of magnitude or higher than competitive products,” Mrs Wong said.

“Kikkoman A3 technology showed a strong presence of residue while the competitive products produced test results indicating biofilm content below typical action levels, showing that Kikkoman A3 can reduce the risks from false negative results.”

This exclusive technology is available as a service - similar to annual autoclave validation, on a scheduled basis by authorised and qualified A-dec dealers.

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