Sterilization in dentistry

  Sterilization is one of the sine qua non conditions of the medical act. The large number of patients examined / treated daily in a dental practice cause increased microbial density in this space. Rotary devices operated by compressed air (turbine, micromotor) and those sprayed various substances (descaling, air-flow) determine scattering to a distance of the organic matter (dentine, saliva, blood) potentially contaminated with pathogens. In order to reduce to zero the contamination risks, the sterilization must be done perfectly. Stages of sterilization in the dental office are the following: 1. After use, the instruments are rinsed under running water, being thus removed the organic or medicinal residues from them. 2. The instruments are placed in a disinfectant solution in the ultrasonic bath for at least 60 minutes for cleaning the remaining residues between the slots and tooth and also from the surfaces of very fragile instruments, difficult to remove with a simple brushing. The used solutions must be approved ones satisfying the demands of the European standards for substances having: – bactericidal (EN 13727, EN 14561) – fungicide (EN 13624, EN 14562) – mycobactericidal (EN 14348, EN 14563) – virucidal (EN 14476) effects 3. After pre-sterilization, the instruments are removed from the ultrasonic bath and are washed again to remove all remnants from them. 4. The next step is a new process of rinsing and drying, after which the instruments are packed in autocleavable bags that will be sealed. In these bags are placed sterilization controls, that will change its color, if the instruments has throughout passed the whole sterilization process correctly. (at corresponding temperature and pressure parameters) 5. The bags so packaged, are put in autocleave, where they stay for 30 minutes at a temperature of 180 degrees and pressure of 2.1 bar. 6. After completion of the above process, the instruments bagged in sterile bags are marked with the date the sterilization. They have a shelf life of 2 months from the time of sterilization. All instruments that exceed this term without being used will be repackaged and re-sterilized. 7. UV lamp sterilizes all surfaces exposed to direct light: – dental chair – doctor’s table – nurse’s table – exposed instruments (vacuum cleaner handles, handles of the rotary instruments, air syringes, working lamp’s handle, handle of the light-curing lamp, whitening lamp, etc.) – patient’s sink – all surfaces above which are mounted adjacent chair. 8. A particular linoleum, antibacterial, designed for medical units, and the special substances for its maintenance, – following the optimal parameters – completes our efforts reducing to zero the risks of contamination. All health facilities have a daily updated summary and a detailed data sheet about the sterilized instruments and the personal in charge with sterilization. In this way can be kept accurate records of sterilization cycles and their efficiency. Sterilization equipment (ultrasonic bath, autocleave, oven, UV lamps) is checked every 3 months by the qualified technical staff to ensure their proper functionality. Sterilization’s efficiency is checked monthly, by doing sterilization tests, in the microbiology laboratory. All tests – both the technical, and the microbiological – are made on a regular basis stipulated in the contract signed between the dental practice and the specialized providers, and in accordance with the existing legal provisions.

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