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FAQ - Instrument Processing - 2015
 FAQ  - Instrument Processing - 2015



How long should a dental hygiene department keep the records of the biological monitoring system for sterilization?

The 2003 CDC guidelines for infection control in dentistry states the following:

Results of biological monitoring should be recorded and sterilization monitoring records (i.e., mechanical, chemical, and biological) retained long enough to comply with state and local regulations. Such records are a component of an overall dental infection-control program (see Program Evaluation).1

Requirements, regulations, and recommendations can vary by state. Records must be maintained long enough to comply with the regulations in your state or locality. Sterilization monitoring requirements, including recordkeeping, can be regulated by the State Board of Dental Examiners/Licensing Board, the State Health Department/Agency and/or through legislative law.

Some states require that the records be maintained for a minimum of 3 years, while others require that the records to be kept in compliance with the state’s statute of limitations.

To determine if you are in a state with required recordkeeping regulations and requirements it is recommended that you contact your State Board of Dental Examiners/State Licensing Agency, as well as the State Public Health Agency/Department (Health Department).

There may be other state laws/regulations that Ask OSAP is not aware of with regard to the length of time to maintain sterilizer biological monitoring records/logs. Again, you should contact your State Board of Dental Examiners/State Licensing Agency and State Public Health Agency/Department (Health Department) for further information on all applicable laws in your state.


1)     Kohn WG, Collins AS, Cleveland JL, Harte JA, Eklund KJ, Malvitz DM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings—2003. MMWR Recomm Rep 2003;52(RR-17):1-61.   Accessed on August 13, 2015.






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