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



Are there any research studies indicating that instrument washers are superior to ultrasonic in cleaning instruments or safe practice.

As the 2003 CDC infection control guidelines for dentistry states:

Considerations in selecting cleaning methods and equipment include 1) efficacy of the method, process, and equipment; 2) compatibility with items to be cleaned; and 3) occupational health and exposure risks. Use of automated cleaning equipment (e.g., ultrasonic cleaner or washer-disinfector) does not require presoaking or scrubbing of instruments and can increase productivity, improve cleaning effectiveness, and decrease worker exposure to blood and body fluids. Thus, using automated equipment can be safer and more efficient than manually cleaning contaminated instruments (253).1

As noted above, the use of automated cleaning equipment (i.e., ultrasonic cleaner or washer-disinfector) is preferred over manual cleaning of dental instruments. Using automated equipment can be more efficient and safer than manually cleaning contaminated instruments. 2

You may possibly find some information of interest in the following Internet searches:

dentistry, ultrasonic cleaner vs washer disinfector

dentistry, advantages of instrument washer disinfector

Another possible resource for further information and studies is the equipment manufacturer, such as the manufacturers of washer-disinfectors. 


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 September 30, 2015.

2)     Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently Asked Questions - Sterilization — Cleaning   Accessed on September 30, 2015.

3)  Search using the terms “dentistry, ultrasonic cleaner vs washer disinfector”  Accessed on September 30, 2015.

4) Search using the terms “dentistry, advantages of instrument washer disinfector”   Accessed on September 30, 2015.





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