With the advent and spread of so many diseases the need for infection control has never been greater. Sterilisation is a process to kill micro-organisms. It is needed to prevent cross infection among patients and health personnel.
Although medical history of each and every patient is taken still universal precautions are followed as per guidelines established by Centre of Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA). Human blood and certain body fluids (saliva) are treated as if known to be infectious.
Measure for Sterilisation
A lot of emphasis is placed on infection control of products and procedures at our clinic.
1. Disposable items are used wherever appropriate.
2. Disposable gloves are worn while treating patients and never used more than once.
3. Disposable syringes and needles are used to eliminate chances of cross infection.
4. A thorough manual cleaning of instruments is done before, placed in sterilisation wraps, then placed in autoclave.
5. Instruments are steam autoclaved after every use.
Sterilization is an essential step in the reprocessing of reusable dental instruments that have become contaminated, or are potentially contaminated, with saliva, blood or other biological fluids. The aim of sterilization is to break the chain of potential cross-infection between patients by killing micro-organisms, including spores. However, prion proteins are not fully deactivated by the sterilization process. Therefore, effective instrument cleaning is particularly important to physically remove contamination, including prion proteins, prior to sterilization.
Sterilization using a steam sterilizer is recommended as the most efficient, cost effective and safe method of sterilizing dental instruments in primary care dental practices. The sterilization process must be validated to ensure that instruments are reliably and consistently sterilized using predetermined and reproducible conditions.
To kill microorganisms, the instruments need to be exposed to steam at a specified temperature for a specific holding time. Although other options exist, the preferred temperature-pressure-time relationship for all small steam sterilizers is 134–137°C, 2.1–2.25 bar guage pressure for at least a 3 minute holding time.
The decontamination of reusable dental instruments includes:
5.Inspection for dryness, functionality and cleanliness
6.Wrapping before sterilization