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Have you ever wondered how dental equipment and tools get cleaned? How are they prepped and how do dentists know that they are ready for use for the next patient? This article will shed some light on autoclave machines and their importance in the dental industry. 

How does an autoclave machine work? 

Autoclave sterilizers are used to sterilize dental tools and make sure that all the tools are sterilized and safe to be used on the next patient. Without the use of an autoclave sterilizer, the tools will not be guaranteed safe for use on the next patient. The transfer of bacteria may happen more easily because sterilization was not applied to the tools.  

Here is a simple explanation on how the sterilization process happens within an autoclave sterilizer. 

Placement of tools 

First, the dental tools and materials are placed into small plastic bags and the bags are sealed. The person cleaning the equipment will make sure that there are no holes in the bags, before the tools are placed into the autoclave sterilizer for sterilization.  

The door is closed 

After the tools are placed into the autoclave sterilizer, the door is closed and the sterilization process can begin. The air is removed from the chamber and then steam is put into the chamber. The power of heat and steam is used to sterilize the tools inside the chamber. The steam is pressurized and at an extreme temperature to ensure that no bacteria or other microbes survive on the tools and equipment. 

The steam sterilization is done for long enough to make sure that all the microbial residue is wiped from the tools before they will be used on the next patient. Most dental clinics use a combination of manual washing of the tools and equipment and steam sterilization using an autoclave sterilizer to ensure that no transfer of infections or microbes will happen because of the tools. 

Why use an autoclave sterilizer? 

Using an autoclave sterilizer will benefit any dental practice for a few key reasons. 

Patient satisfaction 

When patients go into a dental clinic, they will be more satisfied with your care and services if you use an autoclave sterilizer. They will be less likely to acquire any infections after the dental procedures. They will be more satisfied with your dental clinic if you are able to consistently perform dental procedures that do not need a follow-up check-up because of an infection that developed after the procedure. 

Safety for both the patient and dental practitioner 

Both the dentist and their patient will be able to avoid the potential transfer of bacteria if the tools used in the dental procedures will be sterilized using an autoclave sterilizer. The dental professional who handles the equipment, as well as the patient who comes in for dental treatment will be spared the risk of getting any infections from newly cleaned tools that have just come out of an autoclave sterililizer. 

Reduction for risk of infections 

Since the dental tools will be completely cleaned and stripped of any kind of microbial residue from the previous dental procedures, the risk of any bacterial infections caused by the tools themselves will be drastically reduced.