I contracted Legionnaires’ disease from a dental procedure.

I am a 15 year kidney transplant patient on immunosuppressants. I was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ this past weekend at the hospital. After reading the literature about ways of contracting this disease, I believe there is a good chance that I contracted it from a dental visit earlier in the week. My dentist uses a water cooled drill. I had a severe coughing episode when water entered my throat.

Dental procedures involving water have the potential of transmitting microorganisms including Legionella. Your dentist and any other doctor you see should know you are a transplant patient on immunosuppressive medications. You should inform the dentist of your concern. I would recommend culturing the dental water supply.

Epilogue: Although the dentist gave us permission to culture his dental water supply, he disinfected the dental lines beforehand. And he refused to allow our technician to culture the water tank of the facility since the tank would still have harbored the Legionella even if he disinfected the water line.