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Water DEH

Effective waterline maintenance with ICX

By David Petrikas

The potential dangers of aerosols in spreading infection are well documented, which is why it’s vital that dental unit water lines are maintained with an effective treatment plan.

A-dec ICX tablets are the leading dental unit waterline treatment solution, recommended for all A-dec self-contained water units. Maintaining your dental unit waterline couldn’t be simpler with A-dec’s fully self-contained system and easy-to-use and effective ICX tablets as a core part of the recommended three step “Maintain-Monitor-Shock” approach for ongoing self‑contained waterline care. A-dec ICX water treatment tablets are specially formulated to keep dental unit waterlines clean and prevent accumulation of odour and foul-tasting bacteria. Intended for use with potable (drinkable) water, ICX remains active in the system for at least two weeks.

A better water bottle design

A self-contained water system gives you total control and confidence in the quality of your dental unit water lines, ensuring you control the source of water and administer the treatment regime in the correct amount. This begins with the design of the A-dec water bottle.

A-dec’s chair-mounted water bottle is designed to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. The pickup tube remains inside the bottle, significantly reducing exposure to ambient contaminants. A “sure-fit” connection makes it easy to refill. And the heavy-duty construction keeps its shape, even with fluctuations in pressure.


Clean water in, contaminants out

Water quality within the delivery system is also assured thanks to the thoughtful design of A-dec dental units. The patented A-dec delivery system control block design eliminates trapped, stagnant water. Fresh ICXtreated water circulates every time you activate a handpiece, avoiding trapped water and bacteria multiplying.

Furthermore, A-dec tubing is treated with AlphaSan – a silver-based antimicrobial additive incorporated into the actual tubing during the manufacturing process. It is the same product used in medical catheters and some medical implants. A-dec produces its own dental tubing, so you can have confidence in all the individual components on your A-dec dental unit.


Simple, effective waterline maintenance

Nothing is as easy and effective as A-dec ICX for maintaining your dental unit waterlines. Just add a tablet to the empty water bottle before refilling and you know you have effectively treated your dental unit water. There’s no mixing, measuring or mess.

Long-lasting A-dec ICX tablets provide a residual effect which even protects waterlines during periods of non-use (lasting up to two weeks).

To ensure the quality and safety of your dental unit water, be sure to use a fresh ICX tablet and follow these steps every time you refill a self-contained water bottle:

  1. Empty any remaining water.
  2. Drop the tablet into an empty dental unit water bottle (0.7L tablet in 0.7 litre bottle, 2L tablet in 2 litre bottle). Avoid touching the tablet with skin.
  3. Fill the bottle with water, then install it on the dental unit.
  4. Wait two minutes for the tablet to fully dissolve before using the system.

Guidelines or requirements for dental unit water quality vary by region and are usually specified in colony forming units per millilitre (CFU/ml). Monitoring is initially done monthly. If monthly results pass your clinic’s water quality goal for all treatment rooms for three successive months, reduce the testing frequency to once every three months and simply continue your regular ICX treatment.

As a general guide, the ADA guideline is 500 CFU/ml and 200 CFU/ml for immunocompromised patients. (NB: Saline should be used for surgical procedures).

A-dec recommends 200 CFU/ml as an action level. Your clinic may establish a different action level based on applicable guidelines or requirements in your area. If levels exceed this threshold, a shock treatment is recommended.

It is best to speak to your A-dec supplier or Territory Manager to check which shock treatments are suitable for use with dental tubing and other components (Whenever applying a shock treatment, carefully follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer). After completing the shock treatment – including flushing the dental unit waterlines with water – resume your daily waterline maintenance regime with ICX.

If periodic test results are less than the action level, no further dental unit water line treatment is necessary and daily waterline maintenance with ICX should be continued. This is normally the case with dental unit waterlines which are routinely treated with A-dec ICX tablets.


For more information contact your A-dec dealer or Territory manager, call A-dec Australia on 1800-225-010 or visit australia.a-dec.com