Being a dentist or a dentist's assistant can be challenging since you are dealing with the oral hygiene of the patients. Making mistakes in this job must be avoided since people cannot afford to get wrong braces or be operated at the wrong tooth. Careful practice and experience are some of the important things to consider when you are in this job.
However, it is a fact that even the materials or instruments being used by dentists must be handled with care too. These are used for the mouth which can be infected when the dental items used are not sterilized properly. So to help you with this tedious task, here are some tips on cleaning and sterilizing dental instruments.
You can either clean the dental instruments with your own clean hands or do it by using machines like the thermal wash disinfector or ultrasonic bath. You may also need to use liquid sterilization agents for heat sensitive devices since these require a "cold treatment" rather than the usual hot water or liquids.
Also keep in mind that you cannot sterilize your instruments without cleaning them first. You must have a specific sink or place just for cleaning to avoid bacteria and germs to spread. Use a non-foaming detergent and a nylon brush to manually clean these things.
The proper cleaning is done by keeping the instruments immersed in lukewarm water then brushing below the water and rinsing afterwards. If you are using machines for cleaning, read the manual carefully to properly go through the process and avoid infecting the dental devices.
Now that you have finished cleaning the dental instruments with your own hands or with the help of a cleaning machine, you need to dry these by using disposable cloth.
After that, wrap or place the clean items in medical grade sterilization wraps or sterilization cassettes to help these prepare for the sterilization process which you will be doing next. Be sure to properly wrap these to avoid any problems or sanitation issues while doing the sterilization stage at the heat sterilization unit.
There are different ways to sterilize your dental instruments. The most common ones are by using heat, steam, or chemical processes that you have tried and performed for a couple of times before.
The usual process done by most dentists is the heat process with the help of sterilization equipment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dental sterilization processes. Just keep in mind to read the manual and follow the instructions carefully for a perfect cleaning and sterilizing.
After the sterilization process, keep the dental instruments in their proper and intact packaging to avoid the entrance of germs and bacteria. It is important to keep these sealed since any error on the packaging will cost you another round of cleaning and sterilizing.
Just by following these steps, you can be sure that your dental devices will remain clean and safe for your patients. Also maintain a healthy and proper regime in your clinic to further keep the cleanliness and avoid the unnecessary dirt that may affect your job and your visitors too.