Potable water hygiene for dental practices

Potable water hygiene plays an important role in dental treatment: Pathogens from tap water often lead to elevated bacterial counts in treatment equipment and thus an increased risk for the patient and the dentist.

Legionella and E-Coli Bacteria

Pathogens in tap water

Potable water hygiene plays an important role in dental treatment. Having the cleanest water during treatments is paramount because the water often comes in direct contact with wounds and the mist from water being sprayed into a mouth is aerosolized, where it is then inhaled by both the patient and the dental professionals. The most common infection from water contact in the dental office is legionellosis (caused by the Legionella bacteria) which can cause serious pneumonia when inhaled via water mist.

In addition, pathogens such as Pseudomona Aeruginosa are often detectable in the treatment equipment. Seccua has found that dentistry personnel often have elevated counts of antibodies for legionella as well as modifications of bacteria growth on their nasal mucous membranes from inhalation.

How do pathogens get into the medical equipment?

The Problem: Pathogenes in pipes of a building

At the Point-of-Entry (PoE) for a dental office, potable water will already contain certain amounts of pathogens; for example, Seccua discovers as much 100 Legionella per 100 ml when measured by the plate-count method. The bacteria isn’t limited to Legionella or Pseudomona, either, but also a variety of other harmful microorganisms.

As these pathogens come into the pipes of a building, they often create communities in patches of biofilm – a sludge – like substance containing entire colonies of bacteria and microorganisms that feed off the nutrients in the water, and sometimes off each other. These biofilms can increase the bacteria count of a building’s water supply very quickly even if the water at the PoE isn’t as heavily contaminated.

The Solution: physical filtration

Bacteria usually measure around 0.2μm (0.2 micron) at its smallest point, so a filtration unit with a pore smaller than that is guaranteed to physically remove the bacteria from the water supply.

Seccua’s ultra-fine filtration

Seccua’s UrSpring Home or Virex Pro unit utilizes a nominal pore size of 0.02μm (20nm) which is far smaller than all known bacteria and even some of the smallest viruses. These ultra-fine filtration units completely remove all pathogens and microorganisms as the water passes through the semipermeable membrane. Living and dead bacteria are a major source of food for bacteria and parasites higher up in the food-chain of microorganisms, like legionella and amoebae.

Removing all these micro-organisms from the water before it enters into the building’s water system therefore takes away that source of food and results in a steep reduction of existing biofilms in the lines. In areas, where high loads of assimilable carbon is in the water, like e.g. in water systems which are fed from surface water sources, activated carbon filters (such as the Seccua Biofilter) should be installed as an additional step in reducing nutrients for the biosphere in the water lines even further.

Seccua FIltration

Capillaries in Ultrafiltration

More general medical uses of Seccua filtration

Pre-filter for scientific-grade equipment

There are some medical instruments that use specialized water-filters in their instruments. For these pieces of highly-specialized equipment, Seccua filtration is excellent as a pre-filter because it allows the instrument to be used longer without having to replace the special filter inside of it. This saves quite a bit of money as normally the filters are getting plugged up with contaminants that are commonplace and could be handled more effectively by a cheaper filter. Seccua filters are cheaper to replace than almost all of these special instrument filters and they also flush themselves daily to lengthen their lifespan–further saving a medical office in supply costs.

Get the in-depth Case Study for free!

Seccua recently did a case study on installing the UrSpring Medical inside of a German dentistry, and the immediate effect it had on the quality and sterility of its water. If you’d like to see the case study and discover how Seccua can produce some of the safest, crystal-clear water available, in your medical office, please use the form below, and we’ll email the document to you, immediately.

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Virex Medical

Seccua Virex Medical has an membran integrity test and checks automatically the filter’s functionality.

Virex Medical

UrSpring Medical

Removes legionella, pseudomonads and all other germs and disease agents.

UrSpring Medical

UrSpring MediSoft

Reduces hardness in water and ensures the protection of your medical instruments.

UrSpring MediSoft