Why do we need to test the dental waterlines?

The need for rapid, in-office water testing has never been greater. The outbreaks in Atlanta, Georgia, and Anaheim, California, have shown that contaminated water can infect both healthy and imunocompromised patients. According to CDC, 20 children were hospitalized in Atlanta and more than 60 in Anaheim, with Mycobacterium abscessus infection.
Compliance is vital to both patient and clinician safety. Testing helps you ensure the cleaning protocol is effective.

According to both CDC and ADA , the water used in routine dental treatment at a minimum needs to meet EPA regulatory standards for drinking water (i.e.500 CFU/mL of heterotrophic water bacteria).

“ The only way to ensure effectiveness of a dental unit waterline cleaning regimen is to actually test the water coming out of the unit.”  (ADA)


Current challenge

The in-office tests currently available are:

  • slow to produce results (48-72 hours)
  • in many cases unable to detect Non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria (NTM)
  • built on simplified HPC methods – are unable to detect all bacteria present in waterlines(*)

(*)HPC methods were developed over 100 years ago, and were considered by USAF as less accurate and reliable than lab testing

Our Solution: AquaVial™ Quick Check

  • AquaVialTM Quick Check is a rapid dental waterline test, designed to detect bacteria, fungi and biofilm in water over the 500 CFU/ml – the limit recommended by CDC and ADA.
  • In addition, it is FAST. The results can be read in 15-30 minutes, depending on the level of contamination. There is no need for an incubator.
  • Using a revolutionary nanotechnology reagent/solution, AquaVialTM Quick Check is able to detect any bacteria and fungi, including NTM bacteria, that would not show on a pad test.
  • AquaVialTM Quick Check detects in minutes a wide range of microorganisms hard to detect, such as Legionella and Mycobacteria, using regular in-office test kits.
  • AquaVialTM Quick Check is designed specifically for use in dental offices. The test produces results equivalent to Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) using R2A media, with 7 day incubation period.
  • AquaVialTM Quick Check works similarly to an antigen test to detect specific targets on bacteria and fungi cell surface.
  • The AquaVialTM Quick Check represents a significant technological advance for in-office testing in dental offices. The test was developed specifically for dental offices and has been used by dental professionals worldwide since 2016.
  • AquaVialTM Quick Check is compatible with all dental waterline cleaners.

How AquaVial™ Quick Check Works?

AquaVialTM Quick Check uses our proprietary surface cell wall recognition technology to detect and quantify microorganisms in water. The functionalized gold nanoparticles in our regent attach to specific areas of the cell surface, which results in a change in their Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) properties. This leads to a change in color from pink to purple at low cell concentration (500 to 2,000 CFU/ml), and from purple to clear at high cell concentration (over 2,000 CFU/ml).

How AquaVial™ Quick Check compare with other testing methods?

AquavialTM Quick Check HPC* Dip slide Laboratory
Rapidity 15-30 min 48-72 hours 1-10 days
In-office Yes Yes No
Easy to read results Yes No Yes
Detects broad range of microorganisms Yes No Depending on the method used
Probability of False Negative results Low High Depending on the method used
*HPC – Heterotrophic Plate Count

How to Video

When to Test

To download AquaVial™ Quick Check routine testing click here.

Case studies

A study was performed in the dental clinic of a Dental College, to assess the bacteria levels in the dental chair water lines. Of the 24 chairs in the clinic, 12 were randomly selected for this test. The test was performed on three points for each chair.


Coming soon…

For orders and product information

Canada: Sinclair Dental:  +1 800.663.7393
International: ExactBlue Technologies:  +1.866.574.8929 | sales@exactblue.ca