Why are Some Dental Instruments Bagged Before Sterilization?
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Why are Some Dental Instruments Bagged Before Sterilization?

Busy dental offices are constantly examining their sterilization procedures. Although time-consuming and expensive, the sterilization of used dental instruments is absolutely critical in establishing and maintaining a reputable office. Moreover, the more efficient the process of sterilization, the quicker a patient can be rendered care. This is why some dental offices might wonder why some dental instruments are bagged before sterilization.

The answer is because bagging dental instruments before sterilization is a key component in ensuring that dirty tools are sanitized and cleansed. While bagging, wrapping or packaging contaminated dental instruments increases the duration of the sterilization process, dental offices mustn’t cut corners when it comes to preventing potential infection or illness.

Orissal is an e-commerce platform that offers best-in-class dental instruments, designed to withstand repeated bagging and sterilization. If you are interested in learning more about why some dental instruments are bagged before sterilization, please visit our dental instrument experts at our website.

Why You Must Bag Dental Instruments Before Sterilization

Bags, pouches, wraps, and other packaging are specifically designed to allow for dental instruments to be sterilized. Such packaging is formulated so that one side is porous, allowing sterilizing agents such as hot, pressurized steam or chemical vapor to enter the bag and sterilize the surface area dental instruments. This occurs because the other side of the wrap, bag, or pouch is impermeable, preventing the sterilizing agents from escaping, thereby allowing them to coalesce around the contaminated instruments.

There are different methods to achieving sterilization – almost all of which require bagging or wrapping your contaminated dental instruments. An autoclave, or steam sterilizer, uses hot, pressurized steam to used dental equipment over a specific duration of anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, dry heat sterilization exposes dental instruments to convection fan -circulated temperatures of 375° F for extended periods of time to kill pathogens. Yet, another way to sterilize dirty dental equipment is to utilize unsaturated chemical vapor sterilizers that employ proprietary chemicals to sterilize dental equipment. Chemicals such as formaldehyde, alcohol, and other ingredients are heated to temperatures of 270° F and then introduced to the dirty dental equipment to achieve sterilization.

With an assortment of ways to sterilize dental equipment, the type of bag you use to package your contaminated dental instruments must match the sterilization process that you employ. In other words, this is not a “one size fits all” principle when it comes to bagging dirty dental instruments. Specific types of sterilization call for particular types of packaging. To not use approved bags, pouches, or wraps during sterilization is to risk insufficient sterilization in addition to dental instrument damage. This is why Orissal provides customers with the ingredients that comprise each piece of dental equipment that we sell. Doing so allows our customers to make an informed decision about how best to sterilize their dental instruments.

Dental Instrument Packaging for Standard Steam Cycle Autoclave

A standard steam cycle autoclave runs for a duration of 20 to 30 minutes and subjects contaminated instruments to 250° F. The appropriate types of dental instrument packaging for this type of sterilizer include paper wrap and nylon “plastic” tubing. Plastic and rubber containers should be avoided as melting can occur due to extreme temperatures. Additionally, all packaging should be wrapped tightly around dental instruments, as unwrapped equipment is easily contaminated.

Flash Cycle Autoclave Instrument Packaging

A flash cycle autoclave employs a short-run cycle of 3 to 10 minutes and heats dental instruments to 273° F to achieve sterilization. Much like the standard autoclave, a flash cycle autoclave accepts paper wrap and nylon tubing. Additionally, wrapped, perforated cassettes and thin cloth packaging are also applicable for this type of sterilization process. Closed container packaging should be avoided as it will lead to insufficient sterilization.

Dental Equipment Packaging for Dry Heat Sterilization

Dry heat sterilizers cycle for a duration of anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes, using temperatures of 320° F to cleanse dirty dental instruments. Appropriate dental packaging for this type of sterilization includes a paper wrap, certain types of nylon tubing, cassettes, aluminum foil, and wrapped, perforated cassettes. Additionally, unlike autoclaves, dry heat can sterilize dental instruments inside closed containers, making such packaging viable for dry heat sterilization. Plastic and rubber packaging can be damaged during this process, so be sure to check that you have the appropriate type before wrapping your instruments.

Unsaturated Chemical Vapor Sterilization Packaging

This type of sterilization subjects dirty dental instruments to chemical vapor heated to a temperature of 270° F. Unsaturated chemical vapor sterilization packaging types include paper wrap, plastic, and paper pouches, and wrapped, perforated cassettes. It is essential to avoid cloth wraps, as such materials can absorb chemical sterilizing agents. Additionally, certain plastic and rubber packaging can melt during sterilization, so be vigilant about the type of packaging you are to use.

Orissal produces and offers dental instruments that are durable enough to withstand repeat sterilization. Made from the finest materials, our dental equipment should always be sterilized according to the processing guidelines. For instance, instruments containing certain alloys must be wrapped or packaged tightly to avoid rust formulation on the surface area of the instruments. By properly adhering to prescribed sterilization guidelines, dental offices can dramatically reduce the odds of patient infection and instrument damage. Additionally, our products come with industry-leading warranties of up to 5 years on certain products. We understand that our customers should never have to pay for a defective product.

Contact our Dental Instrument Experts to Learn More About Why Some Dental Instruments are Bagged Before Sterilization

Properly bagging, wrapping, or pouching dirty dental instruments forms a bulwark against infection and illness in any busy dental office. The experts at Orissal understand this and only offer products that can be sterilized efficiently. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website.