Sterilization and Disinfection in a Dental Office

Topics: Disinfectant, Disinfectants, Chlorine Pages: 4 (1101 words) Published: November 28, 2009
There are two important things to do in a dental office in order to prevent cross infection. These two forms are sterilization and disinfection. According to the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration before either of these forms can be used you have to clean the instruments. This can be done either by hand or by using an ultrasonic cleaner. (

Even though both sterilization and disinfection are both important there is a big difference between the two. Sterilization is the process of killing all microorganisms. Where disinfection is the process of destroying pathogenic organisms or rendering them inert. The centers for disease control says there is one cardinal rule for infection control which is “Do not disinfect when you can sterilize” (

I am going to start with explaining what sterilization is and giving examples of how it works. I will then move on to disinfection, giving examples and how it is used. The sterilization procedure must kill all microorganisms present on the item being sterilized. A process cannot be called "sterilization" unless it kills all bacterial spores, the most difficult of microorganisms to kill. There are multiple ways to sterilize, but I am only going to talk about the four main ways of sterilizing in a dental office. (this is for the bio)

The first way is using the autoclave, The most common source for autoclaving is heating. The autoclave must maintain a temperature of at least 246 degrees for half an hour. You can use both dry or steam heat autoclaves. For the steam heat systems, heated water vapors are used. The dry heat system is used for moisture sensitive surgical products or instruments. (this is for the bio)

The second form of sterilization is, unsaturated chemical vapor. Chemical vapor is similar to...
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