Dental implant surgery is a common procedure performed by oral surgeons and periodontists to replace missing teeth. During this surgery, a titanium screw is surgically implanted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. A prosthetic tooth is then attached to the implant post to complete the restoration.
For dental implants to successfully integrate with the jawbone and restore function, the surgery must be performed under sterile conditions. One of the most critical aspects of maintaining a sterile surgical environment is to use sterile water and irrigants during the procedure. Tampa Bay's municipal tap water cannot be used directly in dental implant surgery and must be treated to achieve the required sterility levels.
Why Sterile Water is Essential for Dental Implant Surgery
Sterile water and irrigants are essential during dental implant surgery for the following reasons:
Prevent infection: The oral cavity harbors over 700 species of bacteria. Implants are a foreign object being surgically embedded into living bone. Using non-sterile water introduces pathogens that can lead to post-operative infections and implant failure.
Support osseointegration: Osseointegration is the process of bone growing around and fusing to the implant surface. Sterile water supports healthy bone regeneration for successful osseointegration.
Remove debris: Sterile saline is used to irrigate and flush away blood, tissue debris and drilling byproducts during implant site preparation.
Control temperature: Sterile water and saline help cool bone and prevent heat-related necrosis during drilling.
Tampa Bay Municipal Tap Water Sterility Issues
Tampa Bay's municipal water supply is treated with chlorine and filtered to eliminate most microorganisms. However, municipal tap water does not achieve the sterility levels required for surgical use.
Some key risks with using unsterilized tap water during dental implant surgery include:
Bacterial contamination: Tap water contains residual bacteria that can enter the bloodstream or bone cavity during surgery.
Chemical toxicity: Chlorine and fluoride levels in tap water may interfere with osseointegration.
Biofilm formation: Pipes contain biofilm that detaches into the water supply. These aggregates of bacteria can clog surgical sites.
Mineral interference: Calcium and magnesium in hard water can inhibit healing and integration with the implant surface.
Water Treatment Solutions for Dental Offices
To achieve sterile water for dental implant surgery, dental offices in the Tampa Bay area require specialized water treatment systems beyond basic municipal sanitation.
The following water treatment technologies can help dental clinics consistently produce sterile irrigation water:
removes sediment, chlorine, bacteria, and odors from all the water entering the dental office. It serves as important pretreatment before disinfection.
allows water to be retained and treated with concentrated chlorine to inactivate microbes. An automatic injector doses the chlorine to maintain proper disinfectant residual.
utilizes germicidal ultraviolet light to disrupt DNA in bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, rendering them unable to reproduce and cause infection.
bubbles ozone gas into the water to oxidize and destroy a wide range of contaminants through hydroxyl radical formation.
forces water through a semi-permeable membrane to remove dissolved salts, organic matter and particulates down to 0.0001 microns for reliable sterility.
Used individually or in combination, these technologies produce pyrogen-free water meeting ANSI/AAMI ST79 standards for sterile surgical irrigation. The systems can be installed on the main water line to treat all water entering the office, or as point-of-use systems at dental chairs.
Maintaining Proper Biofilm Control
In addition to water treatment, dental offices must implement biofilm control measures. Biofilm buildup in waterlines and equipment reservoirs nourishes bacteria and enables them to detach into the water.
Recommended biofilm control strategies include:
Routine waterline flushing and disinfection
Monthly shock treatment with hydrogen peroxide
Sterilizing or replacing water bottle components
Using sterile single-use irrigant bags instead of reuseable bottles
Proper water system maintenance combined with sterile water treatment can help Tampa Bay dental offices protect patients by minimizing the risk of post-surgical infections.
Financing Options for Tampa Dental Offices
Upgrading dental office water systems for sterility can seem costly upfront. However, financing options are available to make the investment more affordable.
Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions offers dental clients 0% interest financing over 36 months. Bundling sterile water systems with other water treatment needs like commercial softeners can help maximize savings. Maintenance agreements are also available to cover ongoing service and biofilm control.
Investing in reliable sterile water will pay dividends by improving surgical outcomes and preventing dangerous infections. Contact the water quality experts at Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions today to discuss customized sterile water solutions for your Tampa Bay dental practice.
US EPA - Biofilms in Drinking Water Distribution Systems
AAMI - ANSI/AAMI ST79: Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities