Tooth Cop- Protecting and Serving Dental Professionals
Tooth Cop- Protecting and Serving Dental Professionals
The Tooth Cop- AKA Duane Tinker, former investigator for the State Dental Board shares stories and tips for dentists interested in protecting their practices from regulatory problems.
Duane ' Tink' Tinker

Safe Water Guidelines in the Dental Office

2/9/2017 10:14:42 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 103

Safe water to drink, bathe, cook and wash our clothing in is something most of us take for granted. Using clean water in your dental practice can be taken for granted as well!

On December 14, 2016, the city of Corpus Christi issued a city-wide water notice to all residents to discontinue the use of all tape water until testing showed it was safe. Earlier that afternoon, the city received a call about dirty water in the downtown area. Crews investigating traced it back to two industrial companies.


It appears that a backflow preventer was inadequate or failed all together. Due to this, it was recommended that all residents use bottled water for all of their needs. In addition to drinking and food preparation, they should use bottled water for bathing and hand washing as well. Unfortunately, boiling, freezing or adding disinfectants still would not make the water safe.

It was found that the chemical (Indulin AA86), an asphalt emulsifier, got into the water supply. Unfortunately, a boil-water advisory was not good enough this time because of the chemical contamination. An advisory is a public health announcement and typically issued when bacteria enters the water supply and the state or local department issues a boil-water advisory.

Whether a city bans all water usage or places a boil-water advisory, it’s a big deal and can greatly impact your dental practice!

First you must determine what kind of water system you have. An open system (no water bottle) is directly connected to the municipal water source. If this is the case, you cannot use the water during treatment until the advisory is cancelled and the lines are thoroughly flushed (see instructions below).

A closed system uses a removable water bottle that attaches to the dental unit. These bottles are typically filled with distilled or bottled water. You can proceed as normal using a closed system as long as the water is not coming from a municipal water source.

for the rest of this article and TIPS on how to handle a water restriction/ban in your area!


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