Biolase Dental Lasers Help Reduce Risk of Cross-contamination

The potential for cross-contamination between patients in the dental operatory is a real and widely documented risk, and something that today’s patients are becoming more aware of and concerned about. Using WaterLase as an alternative to traditional drills and endodontic files can help provide a cleaner, safer environment for your patients and help put their minds at ease.

Unlike burs and endo files, which are manufactured and FDA-approved only for single-use on patients and cannot be properly sterilized for re-use, the WaterLase YSGG laser energy is bacteriacidal. The BIOLASE dental laser, WaterLase is also FDA indicated for disinfection of the root canal after instrumentation.

Pathogenic microorganisms found on dental burs

In a research study published in the British Dental Journal, the following bacterial and fungal species were recovered from burs used in dental practice: Streptococcus, S. mutans, S. sanguis, S. milleri, Anaerobic streptococci, Lactobacillus spp., Gemella, G. morbillorum, Staphylococcus spp., Coagulase negative staphylococci, Corynebacteria spp., Actinomyces spp., Aerococcus viridans, Enterococcus avium, Stomatococcus mucillagenous, Black pigmented anaerobes, Prevotella spp., Porphyromonas spp., Veillonella spp., Candida, C. albicans.

15% of “sterilized” burs and up to 76% of “sterilized” endodontic files carry pathogenic microorganisms. The complex bur surface is difficult to clean, so autoclaving often fails to completely decontaminate burs before they are used on the next patient.

CDC viewpoint on cross-contamination

The Centers for Disease Control defines cross-contamination as the act of spreading bacteria and viruses from one surface to another. Blood-borne viruses have the ability to live on objects and surfaces for as long as a week.

Reducing Cross-contamination risks in dental offices

The WaterLase dental lasers are made by BIOLASE. The laser replaces the need for drills, needles, anesthetic, and scalpels for many common dental procedures and may reduce risk of cross-contamination.

Here are just a few reasons why WaterLase is a cleaner and safer choice in the dental operatory:

  • Tip surface does not harbor debris or bacteria
  • YSGG laser energy is bacteriacidal
  • No direct contact to tooth or tissue
  • Tips are single-use, disposable
  • Accidental “sticks” are eliminated

Learn more about how to reduce cross-contamination risks to your patients at


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