According to the Centers for Disease Control,all critical and semi-critical dental instruments should be sterilized after each use by steam under pressure (autoclaving), dry heat, or chemical vapor.It seems most of the dental offices know about this criteria,but exactly,very few know how long should the dental instruments be sterilized?
Of course,the sterilization time is up to the types of dental autoclave and sterilization temperature,there are dental steam sterilization equipment,dry heat dental autoclave and unsaturated chemical vapor sterilizers.Dental autoclave sterilization time varies from 25 min to 150 min.
Autoclaves use steam and are either gravity displacement or pre-vacuum-type sterilizers. Temperatures reach approximately 250 degrees F to 273 degrees F. Sterilization times range from four to 30 minutes depending on temperature, whether instruments are wrapped or unwrapped, and manufacturer’s instructions. The drying cycle may be 25 to 40 minutes.
Dry heat sterilizers are either static air or forced air. The high heat and extended time are major factors in achieving sterilization. Temperatures reach approximately 300 degrees F to 375 degrees F. Sterilization times vary from 12 to 150 minutes depending on temperature and manufacturer’s instructions.
Unsaturated chemical vapor sterilizers use a combination of alcohol, formaldehyde, ketone, acetone, and water to create a vapor for sterilizing. The combination of pressure, temperature, and time are the major factors in achieving sterilization. Pressure should measure 20 psi, temperatures should reach 270 degrees F, and sterilization time is approximately 20 to 40 minutes.
The most important is to keep remember and follow the dental autocalve manufacturer's instructions for sterilization time, temperatures, and other operating parameters, as well as instructions for correct use of containers, wraps, and chemical or biological indicators.