How to Sanitize Dental Tools? Keeping Your Dental Practice Safe

how to sanitize dental tools critical dental australia

Dental tools are an essential part of any dental practice. They are used to clean teeth, remove plaque and tartar, and diagnose and treat oral health problems. It is important that these tools be properly sanitised between uses to prevent the spread of infection and disease. In this blog post, we will discuss how to sanitize dental tools using various methods. We will also provide tips on keeping your dental office safe and sterile! Keeping your practice safe and healthy is crucial for maintaining a positive reputation and protecting your patients!


Dental sanitation

In dentistry, proper sterilisation practices protect both patients and dental professionals. They keep bacteria from growing on dental instruments and surfaces throughout the procedure. They also prevent germs from spreading from one person to the next.

The term “clean” has a very different meaning for the dentist than it does for the general public. Being clean in the dental industry means reducing the number of microorganisms in order to avoid transmission from the environment or dental personnel. The next level is sterile, which means that all microorganisms have been removed. That’s why dentists and dental assistants take many precautions throughout a single visit.


How Are Dental Instruments Sterilised?

Dentists perform precautions following the standards of their profession. These steps ensure a safe and sterile environment for all patients.



Personal Protection

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as eyewear, face masks, and gloves are used by dentists to prevent germ exposure from each patient. This also keeps patients safe by preventing germs from spreading from one patient to the next. With COVID-19 as a new and ongoing concern, we take extra precautions to replace our PPE between patients.


Dental Instrument Cleaning

Sterilisation necessitates a meticulous, multi-step, more detailed and complex procedure than we can fully explain here. The dental instruments are thoroughly cleaned before sterilisation. This entails either scrubbing with a surfactant, detergent, and water or using an automated process with chemical agents to remove any visible debris from the device. After cleaning, these instruments are rinsed with water to remove any chemical or detergent residue. Instruments are cautiously handled before final sterilisation to maintain disease control and avoid contamination.

The CDC suggests several methods for cleaning instruments:


Ultrasonic cleaning

In cleaning dental instruments, sound waves are passed through a solution to shake any debris from the tool loose. This is what an ultrasonic cleaner is made for.


Automated instrument washers

Different automated cleaning equipment washers save time by eliminating the need to rinse each instrument manually.


Manual scrubbing

If instruments cannot be cleaned immediately, they are soaked in a detergent or enzymatic cleaner. Manual cleaning must be done in a strictly regulated environment.



There are three types of sterilisers that are commonly used in dental offices:


  • Steam sterilisation (autoclave) 

To kill microorganisms, steam sterilisation (autoclaves) exposes each item to direct steam contact at a specific temperature, pressure, and time. Autoclaves have a temperature range of 250-273 degrees Fahrenheit. Sterilisation times can range from four to thirty minutes, whether the instruments are wrapped or unwrapped. The drying cycle can last anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes.


  • Dry heat sterilisation 

Static or forced air is used in dry heat sterilisers to ensure infection control. Heating causes hot air to rise inside an oven-type chamber using natural convection in the static air option. Forced air circulates heated air at high speeds throughout the chambre. Sterilisation is accomplished by combining high heat (300-375 degrees Fahrenheit) and extended time (12-150 minutes).


  • Unsaturated chemical vapour sterilisation

Unsaturated chemical vapour sterilisers create a vapour that sterilises instruments by combining alcohol, formaldehyde, acetone, ketone, and water. This chemical vapour is used at high pressure, high temperature (270 degrees Fahrenheit), and for an extended period (20-40 minutes).


Extra Precautions to Keep Your Clinic Germ-Free

Aside from stringent instrument processing and sterilisation processes, everyone has a part to play in keeping dental practices clean during a pandemic. Aside from dentists making sure that their dental supplies are high-quality and sanitised, we all must do our part to help keep you and the practice as healthy as possible. With that said, you’ll be asked to:

  • Dispose of your gloves before entering the practice.
  • Sanitise your phone in the UV smartphone box.
  • Disinfect your hands and use an antimicrobial mouthwash.

Many new COVID-19 safety protocols like sterilising dental tools and disinfecting equipment happen behind the scenes. However, you must ensure that your dental team went above and beyond to keep your smile and instruments as clean as possible throughout the pandemic. If they are partnering with Critical Dental, you can be sure that they have their hands on the best dental equipment, instruments, and machines to ensure the safety and well-being of your dental health.

If you want your dental clinic to have the edge over other dental offices in your area, call us at (02) 8883 0674. For all your essential dental supplies, make sure to contact us today!








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