Sterilization Procedures

Sterilization Procedures

Concerns about infection control have been fully addressed by the dental profession. This section explains how we ensure that all materials used to treat each patient are non-infectious. These precautions are for the safety of patients, staff, and doctors.

1. Autoclave

All multi-use instruments are ultrasonically cleaned and autoclaved (steam sterilized). This procedure kills all bacteria and viruses. All multi-use instruments are packaged in disposable sterilization bags and stored sterile until opened for a patient procedure. Our autoclaves are tested weekly to ensure proper operation. Testing is done both in my office and also samples are sent to an out of office laboratory for verification.

2. Handpiece Sterilization

All hand pieces ("drills") and burs are sterilized in an autoclave after being cleaned and individually packaged. The same procedure is used on the hand pieces used to clean your teeth. A sterilized and packaged hand piece is used for each patient.

3. Disposables

Wherever possible we use disposable products. These items include gloves and masks which are worn to prevent transmission of diseases between staff and patient, and also between you and other patients. Gloves are changed often and are never used on more than one patient. Examples of other disposable items are syringes (needles), suction tips (salvia and high volume), air-water tips (spray air and water into patient's mouth), patient bibs, head rest covers, and prophy cups.

4. All Other Surfaces

All items that can not be autoclaved or discarded (chairs, countertops, equipment, etc.) are sprayed with surface disinfectants. These disinfectants are formulated to kill all bacteria and viruses. Disposable barrier products (plastic, paper, and rubber) are used where possible and discarded.