It is highly important that the waterlines in your dental office use uncontaminated water and have the ability to be disinfected. This makes it possible to deliver water of an optimal microbiologic quality, which prevents infection. A “closed system” is best because it allows the dental office to use filtered water and to treat the lines for bacterial buildup.
The CDC recommends that the water should have less than 500 CFU/ml (colony-forming units per milliliter) at any point of time. Infections from bacterial contamination of waterlines are rare. Levels greater than 500 would pose an unnecessary health risk on patients, especially those that are elderly or immune-compromised.
Your dental office should follow an established protocol recommended by OSHA, the ADA, and the CDC. They should have a system that enables them to treat the lines regularly in order to flush out any bacteria buildup in the lines. Your dental office can also use an additional filter such as DentaPure. This is an extra step of purification that keeps the CFU/mL below 200, which is well below the regulated concentration.
It is important you ask your dental office these questions, and know where they stand on their water purification, for your health and the health of your family members.