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

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

 

 

What is the new rule on sterilization of slow speed handpicks and motors?


OSAP has received a response on this topic from Michele Junger, DDS, MPH, Dental Officer, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Division of Oral Health, which states as follows:

 This topic was addressed in our 2003 Guidelines; therefore, these are not new recommendations.  All handpieces and attachments that attach to air and waterlines, including motors, should be heat sterilized between patients unless they are single-use disposable items. This includes, but is not limited to, all handpiece attachments, handpiece motors, reusable prophy angles, reusable air and water syringe tips, and ultrasonic scaler tips.

 The Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings - 2003 provide the following recommendations for 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.

  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.

  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.

Low speed motors can be removed from air and waterlines, and should therefore be heat sterilized. We had many questions about sterilization of low speed motors, so that is why we tried to make is more clear in the Summary document, but it is not a new recommendation.  We also recommend to 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. 1

A copy of the 2003 CDC guidelines for infection control in dentistry as well as the summary document can be accessed at this link:
http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/infectioncontrol/index.html  2

Resources

1)     Email Communication from Michele Junger, DDS, MPH to Therese Long dated September 13, 2016.

2)     US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Prevention & Control in Dental Settings. http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/infectioncontrol/index.html   Accessed on October 11, 2016.

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