It is common knowledge among dental professionals that handpieces and burs are exposed to wear and tear every time they are used. That is why as a dentist, your autoclave sterilizer should be your prized piece of equipment. It acts as your clinic’s savior, helping you disinfect your equipment and keep them in tip-top condition.
Being the workhorse of your clinic, an autoclave deserves a considerable amount of your attention. The guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandates the life expectancy of the autoclave to be at 12,000 cycles. To fully maximize the function of the sterilizer, you must ensure that it is accorded proper maintenance and care.
Make sure you have knowledge of the following aspects before embarking on your autoclave cleaning project.
Areas to clean in an autoclave:
Take note of the key areas to clean in an autoclave. These include the following parts:
- Doors – These serve as the gateway to the cleaning facility, so it is important that a good deal of time is dedicated to tidying this section up.
- Gaskets – These prevent leakage within the device. As a result, it also absorbs a fair amount of dust particles, so keeping these clean are imperative.
- Filters – These handle the water used to sterilize the equipment. Each autoclave can have up to 4 filters in it, and they must undergo proper cleaning cycles for them to continuously work properly.
How often the autoclave runs
How you will clean the autoclave depends on how often you run it. This includes how many times you use it in a day, as well as how often they are operated within the week. Inadequate cleaning and maintenance will cause the unit to fatigue faster, so you should log its frequency of use.
Cleaning chemicals provided by the company
The interiors of the autoclave should be maintained by running proper cleaning cycles. A cycle is a chemical specifically devised by the company for the sterilizer.
By following these guidelines, you will be able to maintain your autoclave and considerably lengthen its lifespan. In the process, you also recoup your investment and set yourself up for a profitable practice.