Choosing A Dental Sterilizer
Are you trying to decide which type of dental sterilization method is right for your practice? Read this brief article to learn more about the options available to you.
3 Main Types of Sterilizers
There are 3 main methods for sterilizing dental instruments: steam autoclaving, dry heat, and chemical vapor. All of these types of sterilizers are widely available on the used dental equipment market.
Of the 3 main types of dental sterilizers, steam autoclaving is the most common in the United States.
The steam autoclave machine uses a combination of high pressure, steam, and a high temperature for a prolonged period to disinfect the dental instruments. Usually this sterilization cycle lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, followed by a 20 to 45 minute depressurization and drying phase.
One of the reasons steam autoclave dental sterilizers are so popular is that they allow dentists to sterilize a wide range of equipment.
Most steam autoclaves use a chamber with trays for the dental instruments. However, Scican’s STATIM uses cassettes for the instruments and requires a shorter sterilization cycle.
Dry-heat dental sterilizers use high temperatures for extended periods to sterilize instruments. Most commercially available dry-heat sterilizers use mechanical convection to circulate air through the chamber during sterilization.
These dental sterilizers do not dull or rust instruments during the cycle.
Chemical Vapor Sterilizers
Chemical vapor dental sterilizers rely on the use of a chemical to produce a vapor that accomplishes the sterilization. This type of sterilization requires short sterilization times and also reduces the amount of rust and corrosion that the dental instruments are exposed to.
However, these chemicals can be expensive and dangerous. The chemicals can destroy heat-sensitive plastics, and they require the chemical vapor sterilizer to be placed in a well-ventilated area to avoid the unpleasant odor.
Some Final Thoughts to Keep in Mind
CDC guidelines specify that all 3 types of dental sterilizers need to have their functionality monitored by a weekly spore test.
Dental professionals should be aware that the high temperatures employed by the 3 methods described above may damage plastics, papers, fiber optics, and electronics.
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of sterilizers to choose from, check out our website for great deals on our dental sterilizers.