Maintaining evacuation units in the dental practice can often be time consuming, taking valuable attention away from other important functions, such as laboratory work and direct patient care.
Dental chair units are complex devices designed to provide dental services necessary to perform a wide variety of dental procedures. Water is needed to cool instruments and maintain tooth surfaces during dental procedures, as the heat generated can be detrimental to teeth. Water is also needed for oral rinsing during and following dental treatment. Dental unit waterlines are an essential component of modern dental chair units and supply water as a coolant and irritant to dental handpieces, ultrasonic scalers, and air/water syringes.
When operating properly, evacuation units are essential for many dental procedures. However, a decrease in guaranteed stable suction volume can lead to stress, inefficiency, and financial losses, either in terms of costly repairs or delayed treatments.
It can also expose team members to hazardous waste. For example, research has demonstrated that backflow from low-volume suction lines used for saliva ejectors may contribute to cross-contamination. Although this backflow phenomenon has not been associated with high-volume suction lines and, therefore, does not require these lines to be disinfected after each patient, daily cleaning of high-volume suction tubing is recommended.
Evacuation unit contamination also may be composed of slime-producing bacteria, fungi, and protozoans that colonize and replicate on the interior surfaces of tubing, ultimately accumulating to form biofilms. Microbial biofilms can be found almost anywhere moisture is present and a suitable solid surface exists on which it can attach.
The physical conditions vary from one dental office to another, but for one particular dental office’s waterline, their chemicals, water supply, nutrients, and organisms tend to stay constant most of the time.
Fortunately, a line of disposable dental evacuation system supplies is available that represents an asset to dental practices and their teams by supporting the efficiency and longevity of evacuation units. The Turbo-Vac System from Kerr TotalCare is designed to clean and remove debris from dental suction lines. Consisting of the Turbo Vac Dispenser and Turbo Vac Line Flush, the Turbo Vac System also enables all dental professionals to safely contribute to infection control and creating a clean environment for patients.
Portable and easily moved between operatories, the Turbo Vac Dispenser fittings connect directly to evacuation suction lines. When the biodegradable and non-foaming Turbo Vac Line Finish solution is added, the system mixes air with the solution to create a powerful, turbulent mist that cleans, deodorizes, and dislodges and dissolves debris from the walls of dental tubing. When used daily, the Turbo Vac System greatly improves evacuation unit performance.
Protocol For Your Practices
To best maintain and clean dental evacuation units and suction lines, the following protocol is based in part on recommendations from OSAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.