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. Use of closed-system cassettes reduces the risk to dental healthcare professionals when executing infection control programs.
When using dental ultrasonic scalers, washers and sterilizers, it is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is also important to consult with the manufacturer of dental instruments and devices as needed to ensure complete sterilization and to avoid damage to these items. 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.
Dental autoclave sterilizers have been known to play a significant role in the daily functioning of dental operatories and are recently becoming even more advanced and efficient due to advances in technology. Sterilizers such as The Midmark M11 UltraClave? Automatic Sterilizer now provide an intuitive display and simple prompts that help you easily select the cycle you need…
Parameters such as time, pressure and temperature vary according to the type of sterilizer, materials being sterilized and individual models within sterilizer brands. The first step in determining the settings for the sterilizer is to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sterilizers are medical devices, requiring clearance by the Food and Drug Administration before manufacturers may offer them for sale. The FDA requires rigorous testing to ensure an adequate margin of safety in each cycle type described in the instructions. Failing to follow the instructions of the manufacturer is ill advised, since it may result in inadequate sterilization of the instruments or devices in the sterilizer. It is never appropriate to use a household device, such as a toaster oven, for sterilization of dental instruments, devices, or equipment.