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5/31/2018 » 6/3/2018
2018 OSAP Annual Conference

OSAP 2015 Symposium Decontamination of Dental Handpieces

OSAP 2015 Symposium: Infection Control - Gaining the Edge 

TITLE    Decontamination of Dental Handpieces - An Update



DESCRIPTION Dental handpieces are the work horse of clinical dental practice and are used almost on an hourly basis in a wide variety of clinical techniques. They are also considered the weakest link in the chain of infection in the dental office by virtue of the internal contamination of the handpiece turbines, gears and air/water supply lines that are difficult to access for cleaning, inspection and steam for sterilization. Decontamination is a phrase used to describe all the key stages involved in reprocessing a device from acquisition, cleaning, inspection and sterilization together with administrative policies and procedures to manage the process. The aim of this presentation is to provide an overview of the challenges associated with the decontamination of the different types of dental handpieces, a brief retrospective of some classic papers related to handpiece cross-infection risks and a personal view of  published (and some yet to be published) work from Glasgow Dental School, University of Glasgow, Scotland.




SPEAKER(S) Andrew Smith BDS PhD






After attending this program, participants should be able to:

  • List recent infection transmission reports linked to inadequate handpiece cleaning and sterilization.
  • Describe why hand pieces are difficult to clean and sterilize.
  • List new techniques for assessing cleanliness of dental handpiece components
  • Explain why air removal is important for sterilizing hand pieces.





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