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Original Research

Open Access

Evaluation of Microbial Profile in Dental Unit Waterlines and Assessment of Antimicrobial Efficacy of Two Treating Agents

  • Mungara J1,*,
  • Dilna N C1
  • Joseph E1
  • Reddy N1

1Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, 2/102, East Coast Road, Uthandi, Chennai- 600119, Tamil Nadu, India.

DOI: 10.17796/jcpd.37.4.l6851n9g01223450 Vol.37,Issue 4,July 2013 pp.367-371

Published: 01 July 2013

*Corresponding Author(s): Mungara J E-mail:


The quality of water in a dental unit used for cooling and flushing the high and low speed handpiece, air/water syringes and the scalers is of considerable importance. The present study was carried out to enumerate and identify the microorganisms present in water samples collected from dental unit waterlines of different dental specialty clinics and to find out the efficacy of two treating agents in disinfecting dental unit waterlines. Study design: Sample included 70 dental unit waterlines from different speciality dental clinics which were checked for microbial contamination. From these dental units 40 units were randomly selected and divided into two groups of 20 each. Group A, treatment was done in 20 dental units with 0.2% Chlorhexidine gluconate solution and Group B, treatment was done in 20 dental units with 10% Povidone iodine solution and the reduction in the microbial levels were assessed. Five dental units were randomly selected and checked the microbial contamination using mineral water, sterile distilled water, fresh tap water as a water source in the dental unit reservoir bottles. Also from the test group, five from each group were checked for the duration of efficacy of treating agent for one week by analyzing the water samples collected on 3 ,5 and 7 day intervals. Results: Most of the identified microorganisms are Gram negative and pseudomonas predominating up to 98.59% of the total isolates. Usage of disinfectants 0.2% Chlorhexidine and 10% Povidone Iodine were found to be very effective in reducing the microbial contamination and 10% Povidone iodine was found to be more efficient (97.13%) and active for a period of 3 days and gradually loosing its efficacy by 7th day. No significant difference were found in microbial contamination of water samples collected from different water outlets such as handpiece outlets, air water syringe outlets, scaler lines. Conclusion: To continue maintaining the sterility of the Dental unit waterlines and to complete the infection control measures adopted in the dental clinics, suitable disinfectants like 0.2% Chlorhexidine on daily basis or 10% Povidone iodine on every 3rd day basis intermittently maintain the sterility of dental unit waterlines it is essential to have a good water source and an effective disinfectant.


Dental unit waterline, microbial profile, Povidone Iodine, Chlorhexidine

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Mungara J,Dilna N C,Joseph E,Reddy N. Evaluation of Microbial Profile in Dental Unit Waterlines and Assessment of Antimicrobial Efficacy of Two Treating Agents. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2013. 37(4);367-371.


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