Dental Instrument Sterilization and some Management Tips
One cornerstone of dental patient attention is the instrument sterilization. When I started my dental office I decided to invest in a una autoclave, which I consider is a better way to achieve sterilization standards I required in my daily practice(1). But you know, new ones were so expensive that I finally bought an old 80’s autoclave sterilizer, with some work it was ready on duty.
From bargain to expensive management problems
While the first years, my old fashion autoclave was truly a bargain, it was not the same when my practice started to get bigger and my necessities grew. In a big dental office like mine, there are many things that you have to delegate, because it is impossible to be everywhere all the time. So training personnel becomes a big issue.
And stablish protocols in a written way is a good idea when other people are working in dental office and are responsible of the different duties, like sterilization. Believe me, canceled surgery because a wrong sterilization process it is no funny for your patient and it is expensive for your business.(2)
As a beginner in dental practice, at 90’s, I didn’t need such written protocols because I was the only one who was responsible of everything at the office and my part-time assistant were responsible of office work and client attention more than clinical activities.
With years my practice got bigger and had to hire personnel and I started to understand the importance of some administration principles that could improve my practice. So, written proceeding guides came to reality and the first I wrote was “sterilization proceedings guide”, because I am always worried and careful to guarantee safe infection-controlled proceedings, such surgery and endodontics.
Automatic Instrument sterilization save the day and my money
As a result of that new status, I had to buy a new autoclave with automatic features to avoid the necessity of control the sterilization process step by step. My new modern autoclave model is outstanding, the assistant in charge of the sterilization center just have to join the instrument according the “sterilization proceeding guide” and it is ready to work, in contrast of my old one which I have to select the temperature, measure the water, check the pressure, etc.
The sterilization center should be considered an important part of the modern dental office. As financial and tax advisor is important for your business, the sterilization center is important to achieve safe clinical treatments that meets quality standards. When you design your new dental office I suggest consider add a sterilization center (3) with the appropriate equipment such autoclave, oven-like sterilizer, ultrasonic cleaner and antimicrobial chemicals to guarantee safety proceedings to your customers/clients.
I believe it is important to know how thing were done in the past, but I also believe that modern ways are better for time saving and profitable modern dental business.