Disinfection methods of dental unit waterlines contamination: a systematic review – PubMed (nih.gov)

Published on 07/20/2022 | by Waterline Admin

Wu M, Shi Z, Yu X, Xu Y, Jin X, Zhang L, Fu B. Disinfection methods of dental unit waterlines contamination: a systematic review. J Med Microbiol. 2022 Jun;71(6). doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.001540. PMID: 35670283.



  • Severe contamination of dental unit waterlines was found in healthcare settings.
  • This review systematically evaluated disinfection methods in contamination control of dental unit waterlines (DUWL).
  • Eighteen papers from the literature were included.
    • One study indicated that water supply played a crucial role in disinfecting DUWLs.
    • Three studies indicated that flushing decreased bacteria counts but did not meet the American CDC standard (500 cfu/mL).
    • All chlorine- and peroxide-containing disinfectants (except sodium hypochlorite in one of 15 studies) as well as three mouth rinses and citrus botanical extract achieved the standard (≤500 cfu/mL).
    • The included studies were of low (1/18), moderate (6/18) and high (11/18) quality.
  • Independent water reservoirs are recommended for disinfecting DUWLs using distilled water andflushing DUWLs should be combined with disinfections.
  • Nearly all the chlorine-, chlorhexidine- and peroxide-containing disinfectants, mouth rinses and citrus botanical extract meet the standard for disinfecting DUWLs. Alkaline peroxide would lead to tube blockage in the DUWLs. Regularly changing disinfectants can reduce the risk of occurrence of disinfectant-resistant strains of microbes.




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