New infection control standard comes to California: 5 details

Dentists

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California dentists will need to follow a new infection control standard for procedures that expose dental pulp, according to the California Dentists Association.

Here are five details:

1. When performing specific dental pulp procedures, the water or other irrigation methods must be "sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties."

2. The new rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

3. Officials drafted the rule after a 2016 mycobacterial infection outbreak hit a Southern California dental clinic.

4. An investigation into the outbreak found that bacterium was introduced by water in the pulpotomies, causing more than 60 children to be hospitalized.

5. The dental board also issued regulations on water quality, requiring dental water lines be purged with air or flushed with water at the start of each day. The water lines must also be flushed in between patients.

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