Dental health care providers have a duty of care to sterilise instruments between patients and to maintain a clean, infection free environment. Not only do instruments have to be sterilised, maintenance of these records is a way of documenting how compliant surgeries are with infection control guidelines.
Coronavirus is another viral infection our dental practice has to manage. Using our universal infection control procedures, together with some of the new protocols suggested to limit personal contact, we shall endeavour to provide you and your families with the highest level of infection control.
The GOLD STANDARD way to prove dental instruments are sterilised and the process is verifiable via a process called “instrument tracking”
All dental instruments that are used for invasive procedures are sterilised by means of heat and pressure in hospital grade autoclaves. An autoclave is the machine used to sterilise instruments.
Once instruments are used, if they are not disposed of, they are cleaned by a number of processes prior to being wrapped or bagged in sterilisable pouches. These instruments are then placed into the autoclave where the desired temperature and pressure to destroy the nastiest of bacteria and viruses is reached, and held there for a prescribed period of time.
Autoclaves are tested before every cycle to ensure they are functioning properly. Every load of instruments placed into an autoclave is numbered and correlated with the successful running cycle of the autoclave. This ensures all instruments are sterile and the instruments are able to be “tracked”, that is, we can tell when instruments were sterilised and document the successful nature of the process.
Instrument tracking is another way that accredited dental practitioners work to ensure the safety of the public. Instrument tracking ensures the utmost safety for all concerned, from the dental team using the instruments to the patients who are receiving treatment.
Although time consuming and expensive to perform, “instrument tracking” in a well equipped and staffed dental practice is part of the daily routine.
B.D.S(Hons).(Syd). MDSc (Melb, Grad.Dip.Clin.Dent (Oral Implants), Grad.Dip.Clin.Dent (Conscious Sedation & Pain Control), FRACDS, FPFA, Senior Clinical Associate (Uni of Syd), Dental Surgeon.