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Did anyone see the 20/20 where they tested the water that you rinse with at the dentist office? (It might have been dateline or something. My memory is shot) They grew cultures from some samples from different offices. There were thousands of bacteria in there. They determined that the water from the men's room of the same offices had less bacteria!! They actually found some long worm like looking things in one of the dental lines. You know what's scary? One of the offices was in my hometown. They said that when you go to the dentist, you should ask them where the water comes from that you are rinsing with. Ask them what they are doing about the problem of bacteria in their dental lines (which a lot of times was discovered to be from other people's mouths). If you don't get an acceptable response, ask if you can bring your own water to rinse with. I would actually choose a different office since this might be an indication that they may not keep other things as clean as they should either.gross s n t
 
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SNT, that's scary and not to mention gross!I bet you that that not only happens in dentist offices but also in other lines. I work in a lab and do see a lot bacteria and bacteria grows anywhere. One time for an experiment we cultured our cleaning sponge that we use in the break room to clean our coffee mugs and it grew some bacteria that we still to this cannot identify! We threw away the sponge and now everyone cleans there coffee mug with a paper towel and throws it away! But like I said bacteria could grow anywhere and you may not even be aware of some bacterias growing in your own home. It doesn't surprise me about the dental lines having that and who knows where else that maybe!Brandi
 

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There is a dentist's office on the ground floor of one of the buildings in the cooperative I live in. The board of directors insisted that the dentist put in some sort of special plumbing because there was a possibility of the whole water supply becoming contaminated if a plumbing problem should occur in the office.Another source of water contamination is from those fancy "european" style faucets that pull out.
 
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Hello all,I am a dental assistant, while there may be some legitimacy to high amounts of bacteria in water lines, I feel there was a lot more hype addeed to the situation courtesy of 20/20. Our dental office (as well as many others) only runs ditilled water and peridex-prescription mouth wash through our water lines. We also have to attend manditory OSHA training and they hardly even mention this topic only to say it is not even kind of a serious problem??Food for thought, I definately do not claim to be an expert, I just wanted to show another side.
 
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I saw this show also. It was apalling! I don't care if it only happens in a few dentists' offices - it shouldn't be happening at all!I got IBS exactly one week after a root canal (see earlier post). I've been assuming that the antibiotics I took during the root canal ruined my digestive system. After seeing this 20-20 show I'm wondering if it wasn't filthy dental water that ruined my system. IBS is often caused by an imbalance of bacteria (good vs. bad), right? Well, it can't be healthy for you to have all kinds of bacteria poured into your mouth!
 

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Hi All:I found this question and answer series on the ADA site, and the url for this particular page is at: http://www.ada.org/prac/position/waterqa.html Dental Unit Waterlines Questions and Answers Q. What are biofilms? A. Biofilms are microscopic communities that consist primarily of naturally occurring water bacteria and fungi. They form thin layers on virtually all surfaces, including dental water delivery systems. These common microbes or germs accumulate inside things like showerheads, faucets and fountains, and in the thin tubes used to deliver water in dental treatment. Q. Will biofilms harm me? A. Scientific reports have not linked illness to water passing through dental waterlines. In our environment, we are exposed to countless germs or bacteria. Yet, exposure to these common microbes does not mean that an individual will get an infection or a disease. However, when a person�s immune system is compromised because of age, smoking, heavy drinking, being a transplant or cancer patient or because of HIV infection, he or she may have more difficulty fighting off the invading germs. This is why the ADA encourages patients who may have weakened immune systems to inform their dentist at the beginning of any treatment. That way, the patient and dentist together can make the right treatment decisions. Q. What has been done to prevent me from being exposed to someone else�s saliva during dental treatment? A. The ADA recommends that dentists follow the infection control guidelines of the ADA and CDC. These recommendations include the sterilization of dental instruments and the flushing of waterlines between patients. Additionally, the recommendations call for the installation and maintenance of anti-retraction devices, where appropriate. All these measures should help prevent exposure to someone else�s saliva. Q. What is the ADA goal for dental unit water? A. In 1995, the ADA set a goal for water quality. It called for equipment to be available by the year 2000 that can provide unfiltered water with no more than 200 CFU/ml (colony-forming units per milliliter). That's the same standard as for kidney dialysis machines, and it's a goal that manufacturers are working toward. The Food and Drug Administration has recently cleared a number of new products to improve water quality and time is needed to evaluate their effectiveness. The Association encourages manufacturers of new products to submit those products to the ADA Seal of Acceptance program for evaluation. Q. Is the water in my dentist�s office safe? A. Scientific reports have not linked illness with water passing through dental waterlines. However, patients should feel free to ask their dentist about the quality of their dental treatment water or any other aspect of their practice. To help reduce the number of microorganisms in treatment water, the Association recommends that dentists follow the infection control guidelines of the CDC and ADA. This is in addition to other precautions that your dentist may have in place. Q. How soon will dentists have devices meeting this new (200 CFU/mL) goal in their offices? A. The current trend is toward dental units with features to enhance water quality. The FDA has recently cleared a number of new products to improve water quality and time is needed to evaluate their effectiveness. That's why the ADA is continuing its leadership in education and research in this area. The ADA strongly urges manufacturers to submit their devices for dental unit waterline use to the ADA Seal of Acceptance Program for scientific evaluation, which allows dentists to choose products with even greater confidence. Q. Does the ADA oppose government regulations on this issue--even if legislators adopt the ADA's own goal? A. Yes. The ADA favors a voluntary goal and strongly opposes any effort to turn a scientific goal into a legal dictate. The dental profession has an excellent, proactive record on this and other safety issues. In fact, the dental profession has led the way when it comes to improving water quality. Because of the ADA statement issued in 1995, the research and dental industries have responded very positively to this issue. The number of products (approximately 25) cleared by the FDA for improving water quality reflects this response. Q. What should patients know about waterlines? A. Patients should always feel free to ask their dentist about water quality or any other aspect of their practice. Patients also should inform their dentist of any health problems and medications they might be taking so the patient and dentist can make the right treatment decisions. Both dentists and patients should also feel free to visit the ADA website at www.ada.org for more information. 1/31/2000
 
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