For dental practices, much like any other health care branch, the act of sterilization is compulsory. The repercussions of lax cleaning and disinfection routine are dire. Patient health is compromised, health care authorities can take serious action against your practice, even suspending it if necessary. As a dental professional, it is an obligation to provide safe health care to your patients, and clean, high-quality dental surgical instruments are the first step.
That said, most dental professionals follow a strict regime of cleaning and sterilization that they believe to be effective. This is not always the case. To better understand sterilization practices that comply with health code guidelines, read on.
What is Dental Surgical-Tool Sterilization?
This is a procedure that involves step-by-step cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and sterilization of dental tools that can be reused. Bear in mind that some surgical dental instruments are individual use only. If the instruments used during a procedure can be reused, dental professionals use various systems to ensure there is no cross-contamination, residue from surgery performed, or infections present on these tools.
This process must be deployed immediately after a process and delay will only cause exponential growth in bacteria and other contaminants. Each instrument comes with a guide that states how it must be maintained after use. the most effective method is the one provided by the manufacturer/supplier of the product in question.
Recommended Processes to Dental Surgical Instrument Care and Sterilization
Understanding the recommended process is necessary when managing tools and devices that will affect the patient’s oral health. Following is a comprehensive guide to effective sterilization:
Reusable oral surgical instrumentsshould be rinsed immediately after a procedure. The residue, blood, and other fluids must be washed off using hot or warm water depending on how many rinses you can fit in.
Disinfection and sterilization
During this process, all dental professionals managing these tools must wear protective gear to prevent exposure and cross-contamination. Here is how this process should go
- Start by soaking the used dental instruments in an enzymatic bath. These instruments must be soaked for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- A PA-approved disinfectant should then be used to immerse these instruments. After this immersion, the instruments need to be rinsed again.
- For stainless steel instruments, it is advised to use cleaners that are free of bleach and other stripping components.
This step entails another submersion into a bath of water and a neutral PH solution. you can then manually clean these instruments, opt for automatic washing or ultrasonic cleaning.
After wash and storage
Once these oral surgery instrumentshave gone through the mentioned steps, make sure to air dry them before storing them in sterile containers.
Dental Elevator Care and Sterilization
Since dental elevators are diverse surgical tools used in various dental procedures, they must be cared for properly. The aftercare of this instrument remains the same no matter what the procedure. Bear in mind that dental elevators have a maximum life cycle of one year but with the help of a reliable manufacturer/supplier, you can apply for repairs and restoration.
That said, after the surgical procedure, make sure to the first rinse, then disinfect and sterilize dental elevators manually. As precision tools, neglect can cause serious deterioration and render the instrument useless. When making a purchase make sure to discuss care and sterilization with your supplier.
Which Instruments are Reusable?
Not all dental surgical tools can be reused after sterilization. However, several tools classify as reusable under the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control. These guidelines classify dental instruments into three categories namely, non-critical, semi-critical, and critical. Semi-critical and critical tools can be used again given that proper sterilization procedure is followed.
Finding Quality Manufacturers for Dental surgical instruments.
Finding the right vendor for surgical instruments can be overwhelming due to the critical nature of the commodity. There are three criteria to evaluate a seller
- In-house manufacturing
- Years in the industry
- Availability of diverse surgical sets and customization
GerDentUSA Inc. is one of the top suppliers worldwide as they meet all relevant criteria that validate the authenticity of a surgical tool manufacturer.