| FAQ - Instrument Processing - Archived Through 2012
What is an effective protocol for biological monitoring and instrument sterility quality assurance?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), and OSAP all recommend weekly spore testing for most dental offices (1,2,3). Your state may have specific requirements for spore testing. Watching gauges and checking seals on your sterilizer (physical monitoring) and the use of chemical indicators with each instrument package (chemical monitoring) to identify items that have been exposed to heat also are important components for sterility assurance.
(1) CDC. Recommended infection-control practices for dentistry, 1993. MMWR Morbid Mortal Weekly Rep 1993;42(RR-8):1-14. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00021095.htm
(2) ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and ADA Council on Dental Practices. Infection Control Recommendations for the Dental Office and Dental Laboratory. J Am Dent Assoc 1996;127:672-680. Available at http://ada.org/prof/prac/issues/topics/icontrol/ic-recs/index.html
(3) OSAP. OSAP Position Paper: Instrument Processing, January, 1997. Available at http://osap.org/issues/pages/position/pp-ip.htm