CDA clarifies oral irrigants that meet state law

June 25, 2019

A new law to ensure proper irrigation and disinfection of exposed pulpal tissue went into effect Jan. 1 of this year. As explained in a December 2018 Update article, the law states that water and other methods used for irrigation when performing procedures on exposed dental pulp must be “sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties.”

The law is meant to prevent the introduction of pathogens and support cleansing of the pulp tissues. Appropriate oral irrigants include chlorhexidine, BioPure MTAD and sodium hypochlorite.

Previous communication from CDA indicated that EDTA may be used as an irrigant; however, while EDTA may be an appropriate medicament during pulp treatment, it does not contain antibacterial properties and does not meet the requirement as an irrigation solution.

Dentists should be aware that treated dental unit water does not contain the disinfecting or antibacterial properties required by the law. Dental unit water is treated to control bacterial cfus/ml; it is not treated to confer antibacterial action on tissues upon which it is used.

Contact CDA Regulatory Compliance Analyst Teresa Pichay with any questions.


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