What are dental unit waterlines?

Dental Unit Waterlines consist of any tubing connected to the dental unit that can run water throughout the instruments and ultimately – into the patient’s mouth. These include high and low-speed handpieces, air abrasion devices, air/water syringes, and ultrasonic scalers.  

The vast majority of dental waterlines are comprised of small and narrow tubing that can make them extremely difficult to clean and keep bacteria-free. These factors can directly contribute to biofilm growth in the tubing itself – which is why it’s so important to follow our Three Steps to Safe Water guide to create a preventive protocol for your practice and ensure your waterlines are safe for your patients!  

It’s important to note that dental unit waterlines are NOT suction lines – suction lines (or evacuation lines) are designed to remove fluids like saliva, irrigation water, particles, and debris from the oral cavity during a routine dental procedure. A good rule of thumb is any line that is connected to the dental unit and can also have water come out of it, is considered a dental unit waterline. 

You can find more information on dental unit waterlines by checking out our Complete Guide to Dental Unit Waterline Maintenance