Infection Control at Desert Smiles

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

In todays world, the need for infection control has never been greater.  At our Glendale, Arizona cosmetic and sedation dental practice, Dr Wilcox and staff are more concerned about the transmission of infection than ever before. We control bacterial contamination through heat and steam sterilization and through highly concentrated sprays and wipes.  In this article, we will discuss our procedures and steps in our sterilization center.  The result of proper instrument sterilization is the protection of our patients and staff and Dr. Wilcox from Infectious diseases.

Our instrument processing area is centrally located in our office which is separate from the operatories, but still easily accessed by our staff.   We reduce potential introduction of contamination into sterile environments by only allowing authorized personnel on the area. 

Step 1

We start with the instrument sterilization workflow. Sorting instruments and hand pieces in the sterilization center.  We separate the reusable instruments from the disposables and remove the hand pieces for sterilization.  The disposable instruments are properly disposed and not sterilized for reuse.  The hand instruments are ultrasonically cleaned in a highly concentrated solution which is more effective in penetrating areas, such as crevices and joints of instruments.

Step 2

The instruments are thoroughly rinsed and air dried before we sterilize them.  The hand pieces are wiped externally and the burs are removed. We follow the guidelines from the hand piece manufacture for cleaning and lubrication.

Step 3

In order to prevent instrument recontamination, we place all instruments and burs and hand pieces in pouches which are sealed to maintain effective sterilization.

Step 4

We use the sterilization method known as the autoclave, which is steam sterilization. Steam sterilization is the most commonly used and recommended method of sterilization. After the instruments and hand pieces and burs are placed in the autoclave, the door is sealed and the process begins.  Once the specific temperature and pressure is reached a valve locks and the door is sealed and cannot be opened until the process is completed.

Step 5

Once the autoclave finishes the process, the instruments are removed and placed in a clean, dry protected drawer and cabinet to allow the final drying.

Step 6

Finally we do weekly monitoring, to check the effectiveness of our sterilization. We believe that following these steps we are providing our patients at Desert Smiles Cosmetic Dental Practice, the best possible way to protect you against transmission of infection.

For more information on cosmetic and sedation dentistry, sleep apnea and PPM mouthguards, in the Phoenix, Arizona area contact Dr. Donald Wilcox at 602.734.0050