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18 Jul 2022 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Proven 3-Step water treatment protocol

By David Petrikas

With increased emphasis on infection control in the current pandemic environment, there is a new focus on ensuring dental unit waterline quality is adequately maintained.

A-dec Product Manager, Shal Hafiz says that together with daily waterline maintenance with a proven solution like A-dec ICX tablets, it's important to monitor water quality and periodically shock the lines.

New A-dec ICX Renew – launched in Australia in May – is the perfect complement to self-contained waterline units to ensure the highest quality water is delivered to patients.

ICX Renew is a shock treatment and part of the "A-dec 360 Maintenance" approach which includes regular waterline maintenance; waterline quality monitoring; and periodic shock treatment.

ICX Renew clears deposits and contamination which can build up over time, without harming plastic tubing or corroding dental unit components, unlike some harsh treatments.

"Contaminated water lines can cause odour and foul-tasting water that can also present a potential health risk," Mr Hafiz said.

The latest ADA Infection Control Guidelines suggest a shock treatment if CFU (colony forming units) reach 200 CFU/mL.

"These shock treatments are required periodically to clean dental unit waterlines and more often if dental units have been left unused for any period, such as over a holiday break," Mr Hafiz said.

He said A-dec dealers now offer a waterline testing service using a highly accurate high tech Lumitester device.

This water testing service could easily be incorporated in clinics as part of routine equipment servicing.

"It's good practice to test microbial levels in water lines regularly – at least every six months, as this is a good protocol to ensure dental unit waterline quality is not forgotten," Mr Hafiz said.

"In keeping with ADA Guidelines, A-dec recommends a three-step: 'Maintain, Monitor, and Shock' approach to keeping water lines clean.

"Monitoring requirements will depend on your water quality and the clinic's individual requirements," Mr Hafiz said. "Initially, test water once a month. If the results pass your specified action level for three successive months (i.e. 200 CFU/mL), reduce the testing protocol to quarterly."

Mr Hafix said the A-dec 360 Maintenance system took the uncertainty out of waterline maintenance, ensuring water quality and patient safety was maintained and that equipment was protected.

"Some testing systems are inaccurate and take up to 72 hours to produce a result, which could mean you are using contaminated water on patients while awaiting your test results.

"A-dec's 2-minute Lumitester system produces an accurate result in just two minutes, without the need for cumbersome and potentially inaccurate manual counts. If your test triggers an action level, treat your dental units with ICX Renew. Best results are achieved by adding the ICX Renew Tablets to the dental unit waterline and letting it sit overnight."

ICX Renew turns the dental unit waterline water blue, indicating the shock treatment is at work in the waterline. The next day the lines are flushed until they are clear and are then ready to be refilled with clean water and a regular ICX tablet matching the size of the self-contained water bottle.

Mr Hafiz said both ICX and ICX Renew were completely safe to use in dental units and did not cause corrosion of metals or damage to soft components. "Some other shock treatments use harsh nappy sanitiser chemicals which can harm dental tubing, diaphragms and 'O' rings."

A-dec ICX, ICX Renew and the 2-minute Lumitester dental unit waterline test are all available from your local A-dec dealer.

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