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Disinfection Archived Through 2012
 FAQ - Disinfection - Archived Through 2012



How do you address the fact that many disinfectants need 10 minutes or more to work and the average time they stay on is 1-3 minutes? 

The person responsible for disinfecting surfaces between patients should perform this task in a way that allows the full contact time to be achieved. Adherence to the manufacturers instructions is important to ensure that the product works as intended(1). Often, this merely requires some rearranging of the order of the steps involved. The areas requiring disinfection should be cleaned and then saturated with enough disinfectant to remain for the required contact time without evaporation. If this is done as soon as the patient leaves the treatment room, the instruments may be removed, barriers changed, new instruments brought in, and treatment room prepared for the next patient. By the time the next patient is brought in, seated, and the dental procedure undertaken, chances are time required for disinfection has elapsed.

(1) OSAP. Chemical Agents for Surface Disinfection Reference Chart. October 1998. Available at 


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