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Efficacy of acoustic waves in preventing Streptococcus mutans adhesion on dental unit water line.

Pantanella, F; Schippa, S; Solimini, A; Rosa, L; Bettucci, A; Berlutti, F.
Ann Ig; 31(2): 109-116, 2019.
Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30714608


The quality and health safety of water used for refrigeration and flushing of the handpieces, water-syringes and other components of dental units is of considerable importance. Water crosses these devices by a system of intersected small plastic tubes (about 2 mm of diameter), named dental unit water lines (DUWLs). DUWLs may be heavily colonized by many bacterial species in a planktonic phase, adherent or in biofilm lifestyle, resulting in a potential risk of infection, not only for all professionals who routinely use these devices, but also for occasional-patients, especially immunocompromised patients. Contamination of DUWLs can be prevented or reduced with the use of disinfectants, but the eradication of microorganisms, especially which those are adherent or living in biofilm lifestyle on the inner surfaces of DUWLs is challenging and often, the normal methods of water disinfection are not effective. Moreover, disinfectants routinely used to disinfect DUWLs may alter the bond strength of the dentine bonding agent used for restorative practice in dentistry. STUDY


To identify an innovative and alternative strategy, able to prevent bacterial adhesion to DUWL surfaces through a physical approach, which is more effective in overcoming the problem of DUWL contamination and the risk of infection compared to the standard methods already in use. In this pilot study we tested a member of the oral streptococci family, that is not a component of the biofilm detected on the walls of DUWL, but is frequently detected in water samples from DUWL, due to human fluid retraction during dental therapy. Namely, the pathogenic bacterial species Streptococcus mutans.


We employ elastic acoustic waves at high-energy in preventing S. mutans adhesion to the inner walls of an experimental water circuit reproducing a DUWLs. To stress the capability of acoustic waves to interfere with bacterial adhesion also in extreme conditions, a high S. mutans contamination load was adopted.


We observe a significant decrease of adherent bacteria exposed to acoustic waves treatment respect to control.


This study demonstrates the effectiveness of acoustic waves in counteracting the adhesion of S. mutans to the inner walls of an experimental water circuit reproducing a DUWL, opening up new prospects for future practical applications. The interesting results, so far obtained, require an in-depth analysis of the methods regarding both the various bacterial species involved and the infective charges to be used.