Dental professionals are at the forefront of the fight against infection. Therefore, an efficient cleaning and sterilization process is a no-brainer if you want to protect yourself, patients, as well as the investment you have made in dental instruments and tools.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in her Dental Health-care Settings has published the guidelines that dental professionals must comply with when cleaning their instruments and tools. In case you are not in the know, don’t worry, we have got you covered.
In this blog post, we have put together some best practices you can follow whenever you want to clean your dental instruments and tools. In your own interest, we advise that you follow these steps closely in order to ensure the longevity of your instruments and minimize the risk of infection transmission.
Now, let’s shoot;
#1. Protect Yourself
The need to protect yourself cannot be overemphasized. Before you commence the process of cleaning your tools, ensure you protect yourself with your personal protective equipment (PPE). You can use safety eyewear, impermeable smocks, face masks, and gloves.
#.Pre-soak Your Instruments And Tools
Pre-soaking your instruments and tools ensures that biological debris like the blood that might have dried out and harden on your instruments would become easy to remove.
#3.Clean Before You Steam
It is important to clean your instruments and tools before you steam in the autoclave. The reason is that if there is still some debris on your instruments, the high-pressure steam won’t be able to contact the surface of your instruments. There are a few ways to clean your instruments;
- Ultrasonic cleaning
- Automated instrument washers
- Manual scrubbing
#4. Dry Your Instruments
Before your instruments and tools go into the autoclave, ensure you dry them as wet instruments will come out from the sterilizer wet, and will affect the packaging.
#5. Package The Instruments And Tools With Pouches
This is the last step before you place the instruments and tools in the sterilizer. Ensure the package is sealed to prevent exposing the instruments to the air when they are out of the sterilizer. Also, ensure that your choice of pouches can withstand harsh conditions of steam sterilization.
#6. Load The Instruments Carefully
Failed sterilizations are as a result of overloaded sterilizers. CDC guidelines recommend that dental professionals should load the packages on racks and place them on their edge. This way, the sterilizing agent will have enough room to circulate.
Do you have a contrary idea how to autoclave dental instruments? Share your thoughts with us using the comment box below.