What You Need To Know About Dental Autoclaves
by: dewi susanti
The Profession of dentistry requires very high standards of hygiene. Not only is it necessary for patients’ teeth and mouths to be clean, but also the equipment used and surrounding environment need to be properly sterilized and free of any disease-causing organisms.
Basic knowledge of science shows that microscopic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, spores and viruses can easily transmit diseases from one patient to another through sharing of equipment and supplies or getting into contact with a contaminated environment. It is against this backdrop that dentists invest in sterilization machines such as dental autoclaves to ensure that their equipment and surrounding environment remain clean and healthy all the time.
Reasons For Using Dental Autoclaves
Use of dental autoclaves has been in practice for long, especially during times when hypodermic syringes and other medical equipment and supplies could be re-used. Sterilizers were used to control cross-infection.
Although most of these equipment require one-time use in the current setup, dentists worldwide still make use of sterilization as an important part of their work environment. That is why most dentists use dental autoclaves in their clinics to ensure that their patients enjoy a cleaner and safer environment.
For your own safety as a practitioner and that of your patients, you need a sterilizing machine that can deliver effective results. If you operate a dental clinic in America, you may be aware that Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association have put specific heat-treatment guidelines for dental practitioners to follow.
Heat sterilization is by far the best method to sanitize medical equipment and supplies. Manual methods of sterilization may not be effective with disease causing organisms, some of which are resistant and need to be subjected to high-pressure saturated steam for them to die.
Apart from ensuring that equipment are sanitized, dental autoclaves are also used to disinfect all the used medical supplies and equipment that are ready for dumping. This practice is necessary to ensure safe disposal of the used products in line with the requirements for safe environmental health practices.
However, it is important to understand that not all dental equipment can be sterilized using autoclaves. Since the method uses damp heat, some equipment may melt when subjected to high temperatures.
Types Of Dental Autoclaves
It is important to separate the equipment you want to sterilize in different groups so that the products which cannot withstand high steam temperatures may be sterilized using other methods.
You can use different types of autoclave sterilizers in dental settings, but the following are commonly used:
- Steam autoclave:This type of sterilizer uses steam or vaporized heat to sterilize. It is the most recommended method of autoclave although it can weaken some types of unprotected equipment and supplies.
- Dry heat autoclave: This method of sterilization uses dry heat, and is applicable where the steam method cannot be applied.
- Gas autoclave: This method is mainly used to sterilize equipment that cannot withstand steam or dry heat sterilization. Such equipment include rubber, plastic or fiber optic devices.
Based on your requirements as a dentist, you should carefully select the right dental autoclave that meets your specific needs.