The sterilization of various materials in the dental clinic is very important to maintain proper hygiene and to prevent cross-infection from patient to patient or patient to dentist or dental assistants. In the dental clinic, there are different types of materials used and, because of this, not all materials can be sterilized in the same way and therefore various materials are sterilized in different ways.
Here we will list the different types of dental equipment and the particular method of sterilization which carried out in our clinic:
• Surgical instruments, Rubber gloves, & most culture mechanisms: Autoclave
• Forceps, Scissors, Scalpel, & Needles: Hot air oven
• All the suture elements except Catgut: Autoclave
• Hospital wastes: Incinerator
• Disposable syringes: Ethylene Oxide
• Catgut: Ionizing radiation
• Suture materials: Glutaraldehyde
• Operation theatres: radiation treatment and Fumigation with formaldehyde
• Serum / Vaccines/ Antibiotic solutions: Filtration
• Preparation of the skin for surgery: Iodine, Spirit, Chlorhexidine. etc
• Broaches, Absorbent points, Files & other Root canal instruments: Hot salt Sterilizer or Glass Bead Sterilizer
• Cement Spatulas, Cotton pliers: Pass the instrument at the end of the flame for a few times
• Glass slab, Dapen Dish: Clean the surface with thermal dye and then double spin with alcohol
• Gutta-percha Cone: Immersing 5.2% sodium hypochlorite for 1 min followed by rinsing with H2O2 and drying
• Silver Cones: Slowly pass through a Bunsen flame for 3 or 4 times (or) immersing in a hot salt sterilizer for 5 seconds
• Lowenstein Jensen’s medium, Loffler’s serum lope: Inspissator
• Sugar Media: Intermittent sterilization or Tyndallisation
A number of sterilization methods are available for quality dental care. These include the use of vapour pressure (autoclave), dry heat or unsaturated chemical vapour. The duration of sterilization, temperatures and other operating parameters is strictly monitored. In addition, quality dental care personnel use the appropriate chemical or biological containers, wraps, and indicators that are recommended.
At quality dental care, the Particular emphasis is placed on sterilization methods, bearing in mind the paramount importance of patient safety. All quality dental care centres are equipped with Autoclaves, Chemical Vapour Sterilizers, Dry Heat Sterilizers, Sterilization Chemicals, Ultrasonic Cleaners and Glass Bead Sterilizers.
At quality dental care, Patients rest assured of a clean environment, safe practices and better sterilization methods that are supported by highly trained staff and doctors.
Sterilization Process at quality dental care
Parameters such as time, pressure and temperature vary depending on the type of sterilizer, sterilized materials and individual models in the sterilizer brands. General sterilization parameters for each type of sterilizer appear.
The types of sterilizers most generally used in our dental office are:
• Steam sterilization (autoclave)
• Dry heat sterilization
• Unsaturated chemical vapour sterilizers
• Sterilization of unwrapped instruments
• Ultrasonic Cleaners
1. Steam autoclave
Quality Dental care uses prevacuum autoclaves, also called Class B or Type B sterilizers in our centres. These high-end autoclaves that use a pulsed vacuum to ensure air removal from the chamber is a more effective way of pressurizing the chamber. We use a temperature of 132 ° C to 135 ° C for 15 minutes to achieve sterilization. DAC autoclaves are used in our clinics specially designed for the sterilization and lubrication of hand pieces.
2. Dry heat sterilizers
Dry heat sterilizers are either static air or forced air. High heat and prolonged time are major factors in sterilization. Temperatures range from about 300 degrees F to 375 degrees F. Sterilization times vary from 12 to 150 minutes depending on temperature and manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Unsaturated chemical vapor sterilizers
Unsaturated chemical steam sterilizers use a combination of alcohol, ketone, formaldehyde, acetone, & water to create a vapor for sterilization. The combination of pressure, temperature and time are the major factors in sterilization. The pressure should measure 20 psi, temperatures should reach 270 degrees F, and the sterilization time is about 20 to 40 minutes.
4. Sterilization of unwrapped instruments
An unwrapped cycle, sometimes referred to as flash sterilization, is a method for sterilizing unpackaged patient care items for immediate use. Unwrapped sterilization should only be used under certain conditions:
- Thorough cleansing and drying of the devices introduce the unwrapped sterilization cycle.
- The mechanical monitors are checked and the chemical indicators used for each cycle.
- Precautions are taken to avoid thermal injury to dental workers or patients.
- Objects are transported aseptically to the point of use to maintain sterility.
5. Ultrasonic cleaning devices
Cleaning with running water and mechanical cleaning with ultrasonic cleaners are carried out regularly.
All devices used for the thermal sterilization of dental instruments must be medical sterilization equipment. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sterilization times, temperatures, and other operating parameters, as well as instructions for proper use of containers, envelopes and chemical or biological indicators. Toaster ovens or glass bead sterilizers are not considered acceptable devices for the sterilization of dental instruments and could compromise the safety of the patient.