Sterilization Protocol

We are taking this opportunity to inform our patients and other curious readers as to how our dental office keeps its tools and surfaces clean and sterile.

Now more than ever, we want to feel safe at the places we visit. Our dental clinic follows the strict guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA).

Please read on to learn about our routine sterilization in dental office procedures as they pertain to our tools, equipment, surfaces, and finally, our maintenance policies.

What are your dental sterilization routines?

We have several daily practices we follow to ensure a sterile environment, following guidelines provided by the CDC.

These are as follows:

  • Critical dental instruments, such as those that penetrate soft tissue and bone, are sterilized after every use, or discarded. These instruments include scalpels, forceps, and chisels.
  • Semi-critical dental instruments, including air-water syringes and dental mirrors, come into contact with bodily fluids while providing patient care. Though they do not penetrate bone or tissue, they are treated with a high-level disinfectant after use during patient care.
  • Non-critical contact surfaces, such as countertops, dental chairs, and light switches, are either barrier protected or cleansed with intermediate- or low-level EPA-registered disinfectants between patients.
  • Barrier protective items, such as coverings, must be discarded and switched out between patients when they become visibly soiled, as they may come into contact with bodily fluids.

Our dental professionals wash and disinfect their hands between patients and as often as needed. Personal protective equipment (or PPE) like masks and smocks, are always used and frequently discarded.

These are the simple yet effective procedures we follow on a consistent basis at our dental practice. But this is only a fraction of our dental sterilization protocol.

Next, we will explain how we preserve the integrity of our dental tool sterilization equipment to ensure it is always working as it should be.

How do you maintain your dental sterilization equipment?

As important as it is for us to disinfect tools and surfaces, it is also important to ensure our sterilization equipment is functioning well.

We rely on several indicators and follow the recommendations provided by the ADA, which are as follows:

  • Mechanical indicators : presented on the gauge of every sterilizer we use, these indicators allow us to note the time, temperature, and pressure of every load of tools put through our sterilizers, such as our dental autoclave sterilizer.
  • Biological indicators : these indicators measure the microbial killing power of a sterilizer. We know these are effective in either of two ways – using in-office spore and incubator monitoring strips or sending away our spore strips to a third-party laboratory.
  • Chemical indicators : which include indicator strips, which change color with each instrument load when the sterilization process is a success.

We use all three of these indicators to ensure infection control in dentistry as instructed by the ADA. By monitoring our sterilizers, we know that our tools and equipment are clean and will prevent the spread of

If there is an indication of a failure in any of the three processes listed above, the load of tools or equipment in question are set aside. They are not used again until the reason for the failure is detected and corrected.

Closing thoughts on sterilization in a dental office

We hope that after you have read about our policies pertaining to the sterilization of our tools and equipment and the maintenance of our sterilization machinery, you see that our clinic takes disinfection seriously.

The next time you need dental work done, we hope you will turn to us, and feel comfortable putting your important dental needs in our hands.

About Us

Superior dental care for the whole community in London, Ohio! Feel confident coming to London Dental Care where most of our dental hygienists have over 30 years of experience.