Shelby Township Dentist Explains Sterilization of Instruments

Hi, this is Dr. Antolak from in Shelby Township, Michigan. 586-247-3500’s our number, and what I’d like to talk to you about is how we sterilize our instruments at our office.

We know that when people come into our office and get dental care, that there’s an assumed thing that all these instruments are sterile, these instruments are clean.

What do people normally base that on? They normally base that on, what does the office look like, how clean is the office? I can tell you in our office it’s very important that we have cleanliness, not only with what you see there, but also with the instrumentation and everything else that is used here at the office. So I just like to go through our sterilization techniques that we do with the instruments that are seen.

So we have here, it’s called a cassette, and in this cassette, there are instruments that are in there. As you can see, I’m going to open this up here, and this is a set of instruments that we use for all of our procedures. One thing that we do use is this thing that’s in red. We use this to actually go in, if we’re in the middle of a procedure, to go into our drawers if we have something that we want to grab that is sterile. When we go into the drawer with this, we grab it with this and we use it. We keep this only for that purpose, is to make sure that the rest of the, let’s say drills or bores, that it doesn’t get contaminated, we only use this and we keep this set aside from the other things that we use.

This is called a bite block and is used to help hold your jaw and support your jaw while we do treatment. And there’s a whole host of instruments in this set here. So what I wanted to do is to show you how it’s processed. Let’s say you get done or somebody gets done with the procedure in the office, and then they leave. What happens after that takes place and behind the scenes?

So first of all we take these instruments and we bring them in here. And if they need to be cleaned we use this, here to wash the excess stuff that’s on there. Then we come over here, this is called an ultra sonic. This is submerged here and this actually vibrates the instruments. It’s empty now, but it vibrates all the instruments and shakes them like this, and it microscopically removes the materials, the blood, the saliva, and things like that. It removes the gross amounts of that material. So then when it is sterilized, that it’s clean. So anyway, so it goes from here, and once it’s done there, we take it from here. We put it in the sink. Then we rinse it out with water. All right. So it’s still contaminated but it’s clean at this point.

From here you have one of 2 options. We can do something called a statim autoclave. A statim is something that is used to process instruments pretty quickly. It goes in this cassette and this goes down. We put the instruments inside of there and it comes over the top, and then this fits inside of here. And then at that point here, we select what mode we want to use, and then it  goes through it pretty quickly.

The other option that we have is, these instruments need to be sterilized here. We load our autoclave. An autoclave has a number of different shelves on it. Many of the instruments we use, especially the surgical ones that we use, we wrap them up first before anything is done. So, these are wrapped up and they’re ready to be sterilized and when they are sterilized they stay sterile until the moment that we open them up.

Once they are, are done being sterilized and dried, then we store them in our cabinet here. And from our cabinet here, then we wait until we do the procedure. Then we take them from here to the room where they’ll be used. We also sterilize our dental hand pieces, the drills that go inside your mouth.

Now anything that is not metal that cannot be sterilized we actually dispose of. Things that cannot be disposed of we put them here in a cold soak. What this is, for example, there are some syringes in here, in a liquid that when this actually sits over about a 10-hour period of time. It actually sterilizes, not just decontaminates it, but it sterilizes the plastics that are there. Very few things that we do use, need this. Most of the things we use, like I said, are throwaway or we autoclave it. Now another thing that is important is that these autoclaves are tested each month.

You know, it can go through the process, but not necessarily will be sterile. So we use a little strip that gets tested by U of D Mercy. On these strips, there are the highest temperature sensitive bacteria, so we know that if that is killed, that the sterilizer’s working and functioning fine. We’ve never had an issue or situation that’s taken place where they have not been sterile, but this is important to assure your safety and level of care.

Also, in our rooms, we’re going to take sterilize instruments, and I’ll show it to you what that looks like over here.

So, what we do in our treatment rooms to make sure that you have a safe environment to be treated in, is we use what are called Sani Cloths. These are not a wipe for babies but it’s actually use to wipe the room down. You throw them up in this cabinet here. So we take any of the surfaces that been used and these will wiped down very well.  We also wipe out all these suction units here, like this, and where they’re being mounted here. We do that through each separate piece here. And then, where the dental hand piece was used, this is the little motor on it, and this is wiped down, and all, these are all wiped down here. And so everything seems to get that.  This is for our hand piece, a controller for electric hand piece. This has plastic that’s on there. That will get disposed of. Also, on the chairs. Chairs have a fresh plastic every time a new patient comes in, they get a new piece of plastic here, that protects your head and anything else, from re-contamination from other people. Also, on any of the controllers that we have, for example, down here. That’s covered with plastic. Even the handles of the light; we use a plastic like this, and then that goes right over the top of it like this. So that way we can control it, and then when we’re done we will go ahead and remove that and dispose of that. So all the plastics that are in here and the covers, the barriers are used to so that you can be assured that when you come in for care that that room has been gone over very thoroughly. The instruments that are used in your mouth are clean, and, and the instruments are sterilized so that there are no questions.

 Shelby Township Dentist Explains Sterilization of Instruments

If you do have any questions, I would be more than happy to show you how we sterilize instruments in our office. We’re located in Shelby Township, Michigan, and our phone number is 586-247-3500. Thank you, and have a blessed day.

Shelby Township Dentist Explains Sterilization of Instruments