The health and safety of patients when visiting a dental clinic should be a primary concern for dental practice owners. Patients should have the assurance that when getting professional dental care, proper controls and precautions for cleaning dental instruments and dental sterilisation are in place to protect them. Dental practitioners should also take pride in providing you with the highest quality of care in the safest possible environment. Here is a look at the dental sterilisation protocol that dental professionals practice daily.
Proper Sterilisation: Environment Sanitation
The staff or respectable dental offices should make sure that they wear their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). During dental procedures, they should always wear gloves, face shields/goggles, and face masks. They should also maintain the sterilisation and disinfection of countertops, tables, and other surfaces throughout the clinic. This notion gives the patients a sense of security that they will not get sick from a virus or bacteria.
Recommended by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a dental office should ensure that their staff are knowledgeable and trained when it comes to following and implementing infection control procedures. A good dental clinic should have the latest dental sterilisation equipment, including dental autoclaves, or steam sterilisers. These machines to clean dental instruments kill viruses and bacteria with pressure, steam, and heat. They should practise sterilisation before and after each use of a specific tool.
Use of Disposable Materials
Most of the materials dentists use are disposable, including gloves, face shields, masks, gowns, and gauze, brushes, and floss. These items are safely discarded after every use. The dental staff should be trained in best practices for handling disposable materials, ensuring they are correctly stored and disposed of.
Use of reusable Instruments
Dental instruments used in exams and procedures that cannot be discarded are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The process below is followed to ensure the best dental sterilisation protocol:
- Clean – All instruments are thoroughly cleaned before moving to the packaging step. Ultrasonic cleaners are used, which ensure all germs, bacteria, and other debris are completely removed.
- Package – Once clean, instruments are wrapped in secure packaging before sterilisation.
- Sterilise – Once safely packaged, the instruments are then sterilised using FDA approved machines, such as dental autoclave sterilizers.
- Disinfect – After every use, all machines and surfaces are thoroughly sanitised using EPA-approved cleaners.
Infection Control Procedures
Dental professionals must maintain their sterilisation equipment along with sterilising tools, equipment, and surfaces. It can be done by following the steps provided by the ADA.
- Mechanical: mechanical indicators include those provided by the gauges on sterilisation machines. These are used to note the recycle time, pressure, and temperature of each load of tools and equipment.
- Chemical: chemical indicators include indicator tapes specific to each sterilising device. Tapes change colour after they have been exposed to the proper sterilisation environment.
- Biological: biological indicators consist of spore tests monitored in-house or mailed to a third-party laboratory. A positive spore test lets the dental team know that the sterilisation process has failed.
All three of these indicators work in harmony and alert the staff to a failure in their sterilization process. If a failure is indicated, they should immediately remove the piece of equipment in question and do not use it again until a reason for the failure is detected and corrected.
Now you know how vital sterilisation and disinfection are within your dental clinic. If you search for a reliable steam autoclave or steriliser, look no further than Critical Dental. We are the official supplier of MELAG Autoclaves, one of the best steriliser brands in Australia. You can now buy them online through Critical Dental, making it easier for you to run your business safely and effectively. Contact us today at (02) 8880 7813, so our sales representatives can assist you in choosing the right fit for your dental practice.