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The Use of Dental Sterilizer

As the virus spreads, sterilization is a necessary part of our life. There are many dental sterilizers in store. Manual dental autoclaves are generally less expensive to buy and repair, but they take much longer to use. Automatic autoclaves cost a bit more, but they can save you tons of time and detect any malfunctions. What should you know when you are using it?

Packaging cleaned instruments prior to placing them in the sterilizer is a standard of care that protects instruments and maintains their sterility until they are ready for use on a patient. Unprotected instruments may be re-contaminated with dust and spatter or by coming into contact with any number of non-sterile surfaces during transport, storage, tray set-up, and operatory set-up.

The same sets of instrument processing, personal protection equipment, and engineering and work practice control precautions can be expected to protect against all bloodborne disease agents. As such, instruments used on a known hepatitis patient need not be segregated from other contaminated instruments, can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, and do not require special post-cycle maintenance or cleaning of ultrasonic equipment.

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.

Dry heat sterilizers have been used effectively in dental office for many years. Just as with any other sterilization method, dry heat sterilization is highly dependent upon the operator following the manufacturer's instructions for cycle time, temperature, instrument packaging, and loading technique. Because dry air is not as efficient a heat conductor as moist heat at the same temperature, a much higher temperature is required for a dry heat unit to accomplish sterilization.

During the epidemic, everyone must take good protection!

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