Taking the time to properly clean and sterilize medical instruments is imperative in ensuring patients do not get infections or other transmitted diseases. There are several ways to clean instruments that do the job well, though ultrasonic cleaning is the method most preferred for its simplicity, though manual cleaning is best for delicate or hinged instruments.
Scrub the equipment to remove visible soil. Use water and detergent or soap to get rid of excess particles. According to ems.org, cleaning requires friction and fluids (soap and water) and is a critical step because it gets rid of the immediate pathogens on the dental equipment
Remove any excess detergent by rinsing the instrument thoroughly, then inspect it thoroughly to confirm cleanliness.
Allow the instruments to air-dry, on a clean tray, or use a clean towel to remove any possible chemicals that could combine with a chemical disinfectant if one will be used. You are now ready to disinfect the instrument.
Disinfect the equipment by boiling it. Bring a pot of water to a gentle, rolling boil, and place the instruments in the pot for one minute. Be sure to keep the boil gentle, as too harsh a boil can damage some equipment. After one minute, take the instruments out of the boiling pot using disinfected pickups. Place the equipment on a disinfected tray.
Place the equipment in an autoclave sterilizer
to sterilize it. According to ems.org, the equipment should be kept inside the autoclave at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes. Raise the temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for another 5 minutes. Sterilization kills any spores or viruses on the equipment.
Make sure you clean the dental equipment thoroughly. If most of the pathogens are not removed during the first step, it can disrupt the rest of the cleaning process. Do not to touch the equipment once it has been sterilized.
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