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6/22/2017 » 6/25/2017
2017 OSAP Annual Conference

FAQ - Instrument Processing - 2016
 FAQ - Instrument Processing - 2016

 

 

Does the ultrasonic scaler tip sleeve need to be sterilized or can you use a barrier sleeve?

 

Ask OSAP does not review, evaluate, certify, recommend or endorse products. Ask OSAP is also not in the position to provide technical support for specific products. If you have further questions about procedures and specific products it is recommended that you consult with the manufacturer’s written instruction manual and/or contact the manufacturer of your product directly. The manufacturer’s validated Instructions for Use (IFU) should be able to provide you with guidance on this matter.

In general, the 2003 CDC guidelines for infection control in dentistry states as follows:

Special Considerations

Dental Handpieces and Other Devices Attached to Air and Waterlines

Multiple semicritical dental devices that touch mucous membranes are attached to the air or waterlines of the dental unit. Among these devices are high- and low-speed handpieces, prophylaxis angles, ultrasonic and sonic scaling tips, air abrasion devices, and air and water syringe tips. Although no epidemiologic evidence implicates these instruments in disease transmission (353), studies of high-speed handpieces using dye expulsion have confirmed the potential for retracting oral fluids into internal compartments of the device (354–358). This determination indicates that retained patient material can be expelled intraorally during subsequent uses. Studies using laboratory models also indicate the possibility for retention of viral DNA and viable virus inside both high-speed handpieces and prophylaxis angles (356,357,359). The potential for contamination of the internal surfaces of other devices (e.g., low-speed handpieces and ultrasonic scalers), has not been studied, but restricted physical access limits their cleaning. Accordingly, any dental device connected to the dental air/water system that enters the patient’s mouth should be run to discharge water, air, or a combination for a minimum of 20–30 seconds after each patient (2). This procedure is intended to help physically flush out patient material that might have entered the turbine and air and waterlines (2,356,357). Heat methods can sterilize dental handpieces and other intraoral devices attached to air or waterlines (246,275,356, 357,360). For processing any dental device that can be removed from the dental unit air or waterlines, neither surface disinfection nor immersion in chemical germicides is an acceptable method. Ethylene oxide gas cannot adequately sterilize internal components of handpieces (250,275). In clinical evaluations of high-speed handpieces, cleaning and lubrication were the most critical factors in determining performance and durability (361–363). Manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, lubrication, and sterilization should be followed closely to ensure both the effectiveness of the process and the longevity of handpieces.1

And,

IX. Special Considerations

A. Dental Handpieces and Other Devices Attached to Air and Waterlines

1. Clean and heat-sterilize handpieces and other intraoral instruments that can be removed from

the air and waterlines of dental units between patients (IB, IC) (2,246,275,356,357,360,407).

2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, lubrication, and sterilization of handpieces

and other intraoral instruments that can be removed from the air and waterlines of dental units (IB) (361–363).

3. Do not surface-disinfect, use liquid chemical sterilants, or ethylene oxide on handpieces and

other intraoral instruments that can be removed from the air and waterlines of dental units (IC)

(2,246,250,275).1

Resources

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. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5217a1.htm    Accessed on October 31, 2016.

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