(571) 434-800046165 Westlake Dr. #330
Potomac Falls, VA 20165

December 23, 2018

Get the 411 on Sterilization at Your Dentist’s Office

bryce @ 6:36 pm
dental autoclave

Dr. Robert Bryce in Sterling is interested in more than just your oral health; your overall well-being is also a priority. While Dr. Bryce is working to make sure that you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile, he and his team are taking steps to make sure that everything in the dental office is properly sterilized. Why is sterilization so vital, and what specific steps should a dentist take to protect you from harmful microorganisms? Let’s talk about this important subject.

Sterilization: Essential in Dental Practices

Mouths contains hundreds of types of bacteria. While most of them are harmless, there are some varieties that can lead to illness and infection, especially when they’re transferred from one person to another. Additionally, bacteria reproduce at a remarkably fast pace. Without proper sterilization, those microscopic organisms could run rampant and endanger both your health and that of your dental team. In extreme cases, poor sterilization practices can lead to serious systemic health complications and even death.

Fortunately, it is very rare that patients or dental office staff members become ill due to bacteria and viruses that are transferred during oral health procedures. This low infection rate is thanks in large part to the measures dentists take to ensure adequate sterilization.

What Is Involved in Proper Sterilization?

All dental offices use a device called an autoclave, which employs extreme heat to kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. In Dr. Bryce’s practice, he monitors the effectiveness of the sterilization procedure by placing biologic monitoring strips into the autoclave with his instruments. A third-party testing company analyzes the strips and alerts Dr. Bryce immediately if there are any potential sterilization issues. He also uses integrator strips, which provide him with feedback about the time, temperature, and steam quality within the autoclave.

The autoclave is not the only part of the sterilization process. Before the instruments are placed into the autoclave they “undergo a thorough scrubbing and ” an ultrasonic bath. The cleaner their surface is when they go into the autoclave, the more effective the autoclave’s sterilization process is.

The sterilization that takes place behind the scenes is vital, but there are also other aspects of proper sterilization that contribute to a clean, low-risk environment. For example, you’ll see that Dr. Bryce and his team always wear proper protective equipment and that all hard-to-clean surfaces are properly covered. Additionally, hazardous materials, such as used syringes, are always disposed of in a safe, environmentally friendly manner. There is even an advanced amalgam recycler system that ensures proper disposal of old fillings.

Dr. Bryce is deeply committed to maintaining top-tier sterilization practices within his practice. Worries about infections should be one of the last things on your mind when you visit our team for oral healthcare.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Bryce is an accomplished general and restorative dentist near Sterling. He provides a wide range of services in an environment that is both clean and comfortable. To learn more about Dr. Bryce or to request an appointment with him, contact our office at 571-434-8000. 

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