Anaheim dental clinic cleared to use its water again

Courtesy NBC 4

Orange County's health officer Tuesday gave an Anaheim dental clinic the all-clear to resume use of its on-site water system to treat patients. Children's Dental Group of Anaheim replaced its system after more than 50 kids got infections following partial root canals.

Health Officer Dr. Eric Handler ordered the clinic to stop using its water on Sept. 15, after determining that it appeared to be linked to the bacterial infections. The affected children had the root canals, known as pulpotomies, between March 1 and Aug. 11, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Children's Dental subsequently replaced its water system, tested the new system to ensure it meets American Dental Association standards and established a plan to monitor the water, said the Health Care Agency.

The clinic also installed safeguards to prevent future contamination, including the use of "a treatment designed to prevent bacteria from adhering to equipment as well as the installation of purification cartridges at every dental chair connected to the on-site water system," the agency said.

When dentists perform partial root canals, they remove a portion of the pulp, or the connective tissue that contains blood vessels and nerve tissue, according to the American Dental Association. Infections following the procedure can cause swelling, redness and pain around the infected tooth weeks or months afterwards.

Children's Dental Group has offices across the state, but infections have only been linked to the Anaheim location.

For more information about these infections, check out the Orange County Health Care Agency's FAQ.