Sterilisation is a vital part of operating a safe and successful dental practice, and only an autoclave can effectively remove the full spectrum of pathogens found in dental clinics including mould and fungal spores. What is the dental autoclave procedure, and how can a MELAG autoclave improve your practice?
Why Use an Autoclave?
An autoclave is the best way to remove microorganisms and pathogens from dental instruments and textiles without damaging fragile components. The superheated steam can access hard to reach places in odd-shaped tools and penetrate sterilisation pouches, so your dental instruments remain hygienically clean long after the sterilisation process.
An autoclave also allows you to sterilise large quantities of instruments and textiles simultaneously, so you will always have the right tool for the job. And unlike chemical sterilisers, autoclaves won’t leave any harmful residue on items to protect your patient’s safety.
Features of an Autoclave
At Critical Dental, we are the leading suppliers of MELAG autoclave units and accessories. MELAG autoclaves are renowned throughout the industry for their efficiency and reliability. To better understand the dental autoclave procedure of a MELAG autoclave, here are the features of an autoclave used in the sterilisation process.
Many models of MELAG autoclave feature a touch screen to make programming the dental autoclave procedure a breeze. You can choose from several different programs depending on the type of instruments to be sterilised. Less fragile items can withstand higher temperatures and pressure to reduce the overall sterilisation time, while fragile instruments and textiles require longer programs due to lower temperatures.
The sterilisation chamber is where the items to be sterilised are loaded.
It features a variable number of shelves according to the model of MELAG autoclave, which can be configured to suit the dimensions of the items and packaging.
The vacuum pump is connected to the sterilisation chamber and is activated to remove the air from the chamber to create a low pressure environment that allows for more gentle sterilisation.
Water is stored in a built-in water tank with some models also featuring a waste water tank for easy disposal of used water after the chamber is evacuated.
One of the most critical features of the MELAG autoclave is indicators both on the sterilisation pouches and the unit which visually confirm whether sterilisation has taken place.
Dental Autoclave Procedure
While you should always adhere to the MELAG autoclave instruction manual for your particular model, there are some general procedural guidelines that dental staff should follow to ensure that the dental autoclave procedure is successful.
- Load the instruments into the MELAG autoclave as soon as possible after they are cleaned. This will prevent any debris from building up.
- Load the instruments properly. Instruments should be laid flat and not overlapping. Hinged instruments should be open to expose the surface area to the steam. Only load instruments into sterile perforated trays.
- Do not overload the autoclave. While a MELAG autoclave is designed to hold a large quantity of instruments, it is essential not to exceed the maximum recommended weight for the model as this can reduce the efficiency of the sterilisation process and may mean that you need to re-sterilise the contents of the chamber.
- Ensure that there is sufficient water in the storage tank.
- Choose and initiate the appropriate sterilisation cycle. You may need to perform a test program before initiating the cycle if this is the first time the autoclave has been used, or if you are running scheduled maintenance.
- After the cycle is complete, check indicators and initialise printer read out or display to confirm that sterilisation has taken place. File or upload records to the database to accurately track sterilisation and ensure consistent hygienic practices across your dental facility.
- Keep wrapped items inside pouches and place unwrapped items in sterile containers until they need to be used.
- Remove waste water then clean out the chamber and tank for next use.
A MELAG autoclave is an essential appliance to ensure the safety of your patients, employees, and your dental practice.
To learn more about the dental autoclave procedure or the models of MELAG autoclave we have available, call Critical Dental on (02) 8880 7813 to talk with our experienced staff.