Doctor Octopus. That’s who the dental chair reminded me of as I sat waiting for my semi-annual cleaning. All those hoses coming off the dental chair give the impression of that comic book villain, however, those hoses are actually designed to deliver water and air in a variety of ways to aid the clinical staff in keeping our oral health up to speed. All that’s fine and well, but one has to wonder – how clean can those tubes be? In many dental procedures, whether it’s an implant, an extraction or root canal, there’s open tissue coming into direct contact with that water. So, like Dr. Octopus, those tubes may be a source of harm.
Dirty dental water. Google that phrase and you’ll get a plethora of articles on how dentistry today is failing us, the patients, with poorly regulated, and downright disgusting water. This has to do with the buildup of biofilm, pretty neatly defined by this nifty video below:
From the 800 children who were exposed to dangerous bacterial infections that eat away at the teeth and jaw in Orange County to the 20 children in Georgia who got sick due to contaminated water lines, dentistry is being put in the hot seat about their water and how they properly disinfect it.
So should we stop going to the dentist altogether? Seems like a situation where you’re between a rock and a hard place, but the power is in your hands to choose an office that stays up to speed on the latest in patient safety. The next time you find yourself in your dental office, ask the dental team how they keep the water used during procedures clean and safe. It isn’t just about whether the instruments are being properly sterilized, or if the office looks clean. All of that becomes a moot point if the water that’s being used is dirty. Here at iSmile, they use a product called Sterisil Straws. They’re awesome little straws that are leading the industry in solving the problem of dirty dental water. There are a slew of water disinfecting products on the dental market today, and while they stop the dirty dental water from getting worse – they don’t make the water any cleaner to begin with. The nice thing about Sterisil? Their products get the high bacteria level taken care of from the start and maintain it to deliver clean water for your procedures.
Knowledge is power, stay vigilant and stay safe by making sure you’re choosing a safe dental practice for yourself and your loved ones.
Listed below are a couple of articles if you are interested in learning more: