Thursday, 10 January 2013

Pure Water


Yep - water is the backbone of the a dental practice!  Surprised?  Well, perhaps you won't find it that surprising when I phrase it like this:

  • Purified water is essential for use in the autoclaves - tap water isn't going to cut the mustard here, it has to be purified.  Filtered water is not the same thing as purified; it has to be heated to kill off any micro-organisms

  • Without purified water in the autoclaves, the machine won't be able to properly sterilise the dental instruments

  • Without sterilised instruments, the dentist won't even have a clean mirror to have a nosey around your mouth - let alone do anything else like a scale and polish, a filling or an extraction

You probably don't think twice about that little mirror, whether it's clean or not - you just assume that it is - and of course it has to be before it goes anywhere near you!   It's a clinical environment and the human mouth is a fabulous place for bacteria to hang out in; anything that gets used inside your mouth is either single-use (and gets thrown away immediately after use) or made to withstand the sterilisation process.

But without purified water - nothing is getting sterilised.

Without being able to sterilise things, instruments get used up pretty darn fast and before you know it, the whole practice could grind to a halt because there's no water for the autoclaves!

I don't know how I feel about being primarily responsible for all that.  Yes - I'm primarily responsible for ensuring that the water purifier is filled regularly, any purified water decanted into appropriate containers so we have a constant stock of water.   We have several autoclaves and they're working most of the day - that's a lot of water we go through.

I imagine no one really thinks about it - certainly not the patients and maybe not the dentists themselves (since they don't have to keep tabs on it) - but like I said, without it, the practice would come to stop rather rapidly.


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