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Sterilization for Dental tools

Effective and efficient infection control in the dental office is essential for the safety of patients and to ensure that productivity does not suffer. Infection control programs all include the cleaning and sterilization of reusable dental instruments and devices. 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.

Packaging cleaned instruments prior to placing them in the dental autoclave 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.

For instance, sterilization is a necessary part of the maintenance of your dental handpiece. This process also puts your handpiece under the most stress with wear and tear. Maximum temperatures in your autoclave shouldn’t reach more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This can help to preserve your handpiece just a bit longer in between the need for service.

Autoclaves should be cleaned according to the schedule described in the autoclave's instructions or operator's manual. Often the manufacturer has specific recommendations on the agents to use for the safest and most effective cleaning. If you've lost your manual, contact the autoclave manufacturer for a replacement.

Ideally, all items that enter the patient's mouth and come into contact with oral tissues should be heat sterilized. If this is not feasible because the device or instrument cannot withstand the heat sterilization process, a high-level disinfectant should be used. Chemicals are often used during sterilization in dentistry as well. Some of the chemicals used to kill germs and sterilize dental tools are typically iodine or alcohol based, since both of these chemicals are very effective at killing germs.


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