Orthodontic instruments are one of the most valuable dental tools used by professionals, so 100% of care is essential to prolong their useful life and ensure the patient’s safety against infections.
Incorrect and insufficient care of orthodontic instruments can lead to materials damage and even make them unusable. There are specialized cleaning and disinfectant products available on the market you can access. Make sure they are suitable for the instruments you want to clean: stainless steel, anodized aluminum, plastic materials, titanium, among others.
Healthsoothe brings you the basic steps to keep your instruments great-looking and free of waste and infections.
To properly care for orthodontic instruments, the first step is disinfection. Immediately after finishing treatments, you must submerge them in a disinfectant bath that destroys microorganisms and bacteria that your patients could leave in your tools by means of contact with their teeth and saliva.
This process can be manual or automatic, and dental instruments should not be in contact with each other. To avoid damage, remember to use only disinfection products suitable for the material used, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cleaning Orthodontic instruments
After disinfection, orthodontic instruments should be inspected and cleaned meticulously because some residues may still be present. When performing the manual inspection, each instrument should be brushed under the appropriate detergent solution with a soft bristle brush and in a detailed fashion.
The inspection ensures that no potential remains of embedded residue. After cleaning, the orthodontic instruments should be thoroughly rinsed with water and dried with single-use cloths or with pressurized air. If the instruments still have dirt or debris, please repeat this procedure.
Sterilization of Orthodontic instruments
The most effective and frequent form of sterilization is an autoclave since it generates a combination of moisture and heat effective for the destruction of microorganisms. Orthodontic instruments that are already clean and dry must be put in packages that allow the entry of steam, generally manufactured of surgical-grade paper. Before sterilization, they must be identified with their content and the date of sterilization.
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It is important to use sterilization indicators in each wrapper to provide evidence that adequate vapor penetration has been made and everything is clean and ready to use.
Remember that throughout the process, you must protect yourself with necessary safety equipment such as a gown, gloves, goggles, mask, etc.