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Paying Much Attention on Dental Sterilization

Dental autoclaves, plays a crucial role in keeping your patients healthy. Since autoclaves are involved in the sterilization of dental instruments, you simply cannot afford to invest in anything but the best.  Assurance of sterility of instruments and devices can be obtained through the use of one of several tests, and these tests must be performed regularly to ensure that the sterilizer is sterilizing all instruments and devices and that these are safe for use on patients.

Most dental offices have a designated area for instrument reprocessing that is separate from the dental treatment room. This is ideal, since cleaning, sterilizing and storing instruments in the same room where the delivery of patient care is provided increases the risk of cross-contamination. The removal and disposal of single-use sharps such as needles, blades, orthodontic wires and glass must be done at the point of use, typically in the dental treatment room.

Maintain sterilized instruments in the pouches or wrapping in which they were sterilized. If the packaging becomes torn or wet, the items must be repackaged and heat sterilized. Avoid mingling non-sterile packages with sterile ones. There should be a visible indicator, such as chemical indicators or color-change autoclave tape on the outside of each package to allow staff to easily discern sterilized instrument packages from those that have not yet been heat-processed.

Disposable dental tools and supplies are some of the most important items when it comes to sterilization in dentistry. Some disposable dental supplies include bibs and masks wrapped in sterile packaging. Once these are used with one patient, they are simply thrown away.

Taking dental handpiece for an example, virtually all handpieces currently in production are heat-tolerant, and those that are not can be retrofitted to allow heat-processing. Autoclaving and chemical vapor sterilization are considered accepted methods of heat sterilization. High-level disinfection via chemical germicides cannot be biologically monitored to assure sterility. Further, extended contact with chemical germicides may corrode handpiece components.

Effective and efficient infection control in the dental office is essential for the safety of patients and to ensure that productivity does not suffer. Care must be taken by the dental healthcare professional to ensure that all instruments are cleaned prior to sterilization, and that this is carried out in a safe manner to avoid injury and puncture wounds.
 


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