Controlling biofilm and microbial contamination in dental unit waterlines. Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite the fact that the ADA had set the goal of less than 200 colony-forming units per milliliter of unfiltered output water from dental unit waterlines to be achieved voluntarily by the year 2000, there is much confusion and resistance within the profession with regard to waterlines. Many in the profession are still wondering what the most effective means are to predictably achieve the goal. It is a well-established fact that bacterial biofilm can readily form within dental unit waterlines and degrade the microbial quality of the water in dental units regardless of the water source. These biofilms are primarily formed by various microcolonies of bacteria that attach to surfaces over time within the waterlines. An increasing number of medically compromised and immunocompromised patients being treated in dental offices and increased public awareness have brought about renewed interest in this issue. There are generally four categories of products that are available to address this issue: independent water systems, sterile water delivery systems, filtration, and chemical treatment protocols. A recent study at the University of California at Los Angeles demonstrates that the Ultra chemical treatment protocol can be an effective means of controlling biofilm in dental unit waterlines.

published proceedings

  • J Calif Dent Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, T. K., Waked, E. J., Wolinsky, L. E., Mito, R. S., & Danielson, R. E.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Lee, TK||Waked, EJ||Wolinsky, LE||Mito, RS||Danielson, RE

publication date

  • September 2001