5 Steps for Cleaning and Sterilizing Dental Equipment

Of course, medical and hospital tools must be properly sterilized to prevent contamination between patients. Dental tools must also be properly sterilized. Within just a few steps, dental instruments can be prepared for sterile use with patients. Sterilization requires careful attention to several steps.

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1. Protective Wear

Before getting started, be sure to have the right clothing that protects you from splatters. This may include sterile gloves, scrubs, shoe covers, and even goggles.

2. Thorough Cleaning

As soon as dental procedures are complete, the instruments must be cleaned. Remove any debris with appropriate brushes and gauze pads. You may need to use an approved cleanser. Clean each tool individually. Rinse them thoroughly before preparing them for time in an autoclave.

3. Decontamination

Before tools can be sterilized, they must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated. This is best done in an area that has been designated for this process. While moving instruments from one area to another, keep them covered and isolated.

4. Autoclave or Ethylene Oxide

After locking dental instruments into labeled pouches, run them through an autoclave. This is where the sterilization process takes place. A combination of very hot steam and high pressure kills microorganisms. Use the autoclave machine appropriately for accurate sterilization.

Sometimes, ethylene oxide (EtO) is used on equipment that is sensitive to moisture and heat. For example, tools with electrical components or with plastic parts. EtO provides antimicrobial sterilization, protecting patients from getting sick after dental procedures.

5. Repairs

Sometimes dental equipment requires repairs. It can be frustrating when the air-water spray syringe doesn’t work appropriately, especially if you’re already sitting with a patient. For minor damages, Dental Equipment Repair Kits can be used by personnel in the dental office. Major repairs should prompt a visit from appropriate repair professionals.

Proper sterilization of tools is key in preventing diseases or illnesses in patients. Each piece of equipment must be treated with high levels of care for full cleaning and sterilization.

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