Bacterial contamination of dental handpieces.
Bacterial contamination of water- and air-lines was investigated after artificial contamination and clinical use of dental handpieces. The effect of lubrication, disinfection and autoclaving on this contamination was also addressed. Bacterial growth was recorded in both the air- and water-lines during clinical and artificial contamination, with water-lines showing heavier contamination than air-lines. External and internal surfaces of handpieces still yielded bacterial growth after lubrication and disinfection, while heat sterilisation (autoclaving) rendered both internal and external surfaces sterile.