A Peer-Reviewed Publication Written by Noel Brandon Kelsch, RDHAP
In order to meet the challenges of safety, time management and asepsis, the dental health care provider must have a plan for infection control, including the use and care of dental instruments and disposables. Following the basic CDC guidelines can help to significantly reduce the risk of microbial transmission. After the patient is dismissed, the operatory must be prepared for the next patient, including the treatment of surfaces and instrument processing. There are a variety of methods available to properly reprocess instruments. Choosing a system that minimizes risk, maximizes productivity and preserves instruments is essential.
At the conclusion of this educational activity participants will be able to:
1. Describe the chain of infection and modes of transmission of microorganisms in the dental office.
2. List and describe the four basic principles and goals to reduce microbial transmission.
3. List and describe which instruments must be sterilized, the methods by which this can be achieved, and the role and importance of external and internal indicators on packaging.
4. List and describe instrument processing steps and the use of instrument management systems in this process.
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