4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Dental Autoclave
Selecting the right autoclave for your dental practice is an exciting and important decision. Your choice will affect how smoothly your practice operates and how much downtime your staff encounters.
To help you in this process, we've identified the 4 questions you should consider when choosing a dental autoclave.
Most autoclaves, such as the Midmark M9, are steam chamber units. They use a large chamber that can hold multiple trays of instruments. Their main advantage is the ability to sterilize large volumes of instruments during each cycle.
STATIM autoclaves from Scican use a cassette and slot to store the instruments during the cycle. They provide the operator with streamlined operation and generally faster cycle times than chamber autoclaves. However, they can’t sterilizer as many instruments during a cycle.
Consider whether you prefer the large load capacity of chamber autoclaves, but with generally longer cycle times, or the simplicity and speed that STATIM units provide, but with a smaller load capacity.
Question 2: Automatic or Manual?
Automatic autoclaves perform a sterilizing cycle without any need for operator assistance. As a result, these types of autoclaves usually cost more than manual units.
Manual autoclaves require the operator to perform various actions during the cycle to keep the process running.
Does your staff have the time to give manual autoclaves the attention they need during a cycle? If so, then saving money on a manual autoclave might be worth it.
On the other hand, is your staff too busy to operate a manual unit? Do you prefer the “set it and forget it” convenience that comes with automatic sterilizers? Then you’ll probably be happier using an automatic unit, despite the higher purchase price.
Question 3: New or Pre-Owned?
New autoclaves usually include a manufacturer warranty. They've never been used before and usually include manufacturer packaging. If you care for them properly, expensive repairs shouldn’t be a problem for many years. However, these benefits do come with a higher purchase price.
Refurbished autoclaves are previously used units that have been repaired and tested. Refurbished autoclaves often include a warranty, but what is covered and for how long depends on the seller. These units tend to have a more affordable price than new, unused units.
How much is your peace of mind worth to you? Do you have a trusted source for refurbished dental equipment? Will this autoclave be used as your main unit or only as a backup? These are all things to consider when deciding whether to buy a new, refurbished, or as-is autoclave.
Chamber autoclaves come in different sizes. For example, the Midmark M7 autoclave comes with a chamber that's 7.5" wide and 15" deep, while the Midmark M11 model features a chamber that's 11" wide and 18" deep. You’ll need to decide which chamber size will work for the instruments in your practice.
Dentaldepot.com recommends measuring the size of your largest dental instruments and using that to determine your required chamber size.
We suggest referring to this helpful chart on Booth Medical's website that compares the specifications of numerous autoclaves side by side. It includes chamber sizes, tray sizes, and cycle times.
Taking the Next Step
We wish you the best in your search for the ideal autoclave for your office!
When you're ready to make the investment, check out our used dental autoclave product guide for a wide variety of refurbished and as-is autoclaves. You'll likely find what you need at an affordable price.
For questions and price quotes, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-286-1775.