Category: Infection Prevention/Control



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Title:

Dental Sterilization Procedures

Category:

Infection Prevention/Control

Effective Date:




Written By:




Assoc Policy:

Infection Prevention/Control

Approved By:




Revision Date:




Approval Date:




QTG :




Sunset Date:






Standard Operating Procedures

Purpose:


  • To ensure instruments are heat sterilized and free from blood borne pathogens and other potentially infectious material (OPIM).

Background:


  • The goal of implementing the correct decontamination/sterilization procedure is to eliminate the risk of transmission of blood borne pathogens from patient to patient and patient to health care worker.

Areas of Responsibility:


  • Dental Providers (Dentists/Hygienists)

  • Dental Support Staff (DSS)

Procedure:


  • Dental Providers (Dentists/Hygienists)

  • Have a basic understanding of the Dental Sterilization Process.

  • The Infection Prevention/Control (IPC)/Safety Officer (Hygienist) for each dental clinic is responsible for training and monitoring the dental sterilization process. If there is a breach in the sterilization process it is their responsibility to report this to the Dental Clinic Director and the Infection Prevention/Control Advisor for the Dental Department.

  • In the event of a breach in the sterilization process, the Clinic IPC/Safety Officer, the Dental Clinic Director, and the Infection Prevention/Control Advisor for the Dental Department will ensure the appropriate steps are taken to correct the situation.

  • Dental Support Staff

    • Instruments/cassettes which need to be heat sterilized are to be transported from the dental operatory to the sterilization (instrument processing) area in the approved transport container.

      • INSTRUMENTS are defined as any instruments or dental devices (ex: bite block, lab spatula, xcp’s) not contained in a cassette that require heat sterilization.

      • CASSETTES are defined as any instruments which are contained in a cassette that require heat sterilization. They may be sterilized in either a multi parameter pouch or blue surgical wrap.

    • The sterilization (instrument processing) area should be divided into the following four sections:

      • Receiving, Debridement, and Decontamination.

      • Preparation and Packaging.

      • Sterilization.

      • Holding Area for sterilized pouches/wrapped cassettes waiting to be returned to the operatory and storage areas.

    • The sterilization area should be divided by walls, partitions, or adequate spatial separations to control traffic flow and contain contaminants generated during processing.




    • RECEIVING/DEBRIDEMENT/DECONTAMINATION OF THE INSTRUMENTS/CASSETTES:

      • Puncture resistant nitrile utility gloves and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (including a laboratory coat, mask and safety glasses) must be worn when handling contaminated instruments and cassettes.

      • The debridement/decontamination process is to be completed immediately after the instruments/cassettes are brought to the sterilization area in order to reduce the risk of microorganisms becoming encapsulated on the instrument/cassette surfaces.

      • Instruments/cassettes need to be debrided/decontaminated by one of the following methods:

        • WHEN USING THE ULTRASONIC:

            • The preferred procedure is to place instruments/cassettes directly into the ultrasonic using the appropriate inserts immediately after being received in the sterilization area.

              • If there is a load already running in the ultrasonic, the instruments/cassettes should be kept in a presoak of the approved ultrasonic cleaner and run through the ultrasonic as soon as possible.

              • Manual debridement of the instruments/cassettes is strongly discouraged. If it is absolutely necessary, the instruments/cassettes are to be debrided with a long handled brush and placed into the ultrasonic as soon as possible.

            • The ultrasonic is filled at the beginning of each day with the approved ultrasonic cleaner.

              • If the ultrasonic cleaner becomes diluted due to excessive use, it may be necessary to change the ultrasonic cleaner during the day.

            • The ultrasonic is to run for the appropriate time according to the manual.

            • The instruments/cassettes are then thoroughly rinsed with tap water and set on a rack to dry.

            • If this is the last cycle of the day, the instruments/cassettes may be left after the rinse has been completed.

            • The instruments/cassettes will need to be packaged and sterilized the next day.

            • The ultrasonic is to be drained at the end of each day and sprayed with the approved surface disinfectant.

            • DSS are responsible for keeping the sterilization area neat and organized.

            • Place the loose instruments neatly in the drying area in order to prevent damage to the instruments/cassettes.

        • WHEN USING THE MIELE (Dental Washer Disinfector), follow the “Instrument Handling Recommendations” which are found in the manual:

            • Instruments/cassettes should not be pre-soaked, rinsed, or hand scrubbed.

            • Instruments/cassettes are placed directly into the Miele Dental Washer Disinfector.

            • The Miele Dental Washer Disinfector serves as the “dirty storage area” and will clean and disinfect instruments/cassettes that have been sitting for up to 6 hours; however, instruments/cassettes cannot be left to sit overnight.

              • Instruments should be placed into plastic cassettes within the metal mesh basket in the Miele to prevent damage to the tips of the instruments. Tips of the instruments can become caught in the metal mesh.

            • The recommended cycle is the Disinfection VARIO with the optional 10 minute drying cycle.

            • The Miele cannot be left running when the DSS leave for the day. The cycle must be complete and the door of the Miele must be left slightly opened.

            • Do not leave the door to the Miele completely opened because it is a safety hazard.

            • The door of the Miele needs to be opened immediately after the cycle ends to release hot air and steam and to let instruments cool. This prevents rust and corrosion from forming on the instruments/cassettes.

            • If this is the last cycle of the day and there is not enough time to run the Disinfection VARIO cycle, the Miele may run through one of the following cycles:

  • The 30 minute cycle with a cold water pre-rinse and a detergent phase. When this cycle is completed, the DSS will need to open the door to the Miele and they may leave for the day.

                • Instruments/cassettes may be packaged and sterilized the following day.

              • The 10 minute cycle with a cold water pre-rinse only. When this cycle is completed, the DSS will need to open the door to the Miele and they may leave for the day. The instruments/cassettes are not ready for packaging and sterilization.

              • Instruments/cassettes will need to be run through the Disinfection VARIO cycle at the beginning of the following day.

                • Instruments/cassettes may then be packaged and sterilized.

        • HAND PIECES:

  • Hand pieces are to be cleaned and oiled through the Assistina or by the hand held air driven method.



  • PREPARATION/PACKAGING OF THE INSTRUMENTS/CASSETTES:

      • Puncture resistant nitrile utility gloves and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (including a laboratory coat, mask and safety glasses) must be worn when handling contaminated instruments and cassettes.

      • After the debridement/decontamination process is completed, the instruments/cassettes are prepared for heat sterilization through the following steps:

        • Place instruments/cassettes in the appropriate sized multi parameter pouches (Multi parameter meaning the appropriate levels for heat, temperature, and time have been achieved).

        • Affix the self-sealing adhesive strip to the designated place on the multi parameter pouch to ensure a complete seal.

        • If using blue surgical wrap, a small piece of autoclave indicator tape needs to be inserted into the middle of the cassette (internal indicator). The outside of the package needs to be secured with autoclave indicator tape (external indicator).

        • The pouches/wrapped cassettes now need to have the current date marked on them with a regular point black Sharpie permanent marker. The date will read as: 09-13-13. (Not 09/13/13).

        • Any clinic with more than one heat sterilizer (ex: Statim/Autoclave) needs to designate which sterilizer the pouches/wrapped cassettes have run through. (ex: red Sharpie permanent marker=Statim; blue Sharpie permanent marker=Auotclave 1; green Sharpie permanent marker=Autoclave 2; orange Sharpie permanent marker=Autoclave 3)



  • STERILIZATION OF THE POUCHES/WRAPPED CASSETTES:

      • Puncture resistant nitrile utility gloves and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (including a laboratory coat, mask and safety glasses) must be worn when handling contaminated pouches and wrapped cassettes.

      • Pouches/wrapped cassettes are to be placed correctly on the trays for each heat sterilizer (refer to the “Guidelines for Loading Trays” which may be found in the sterilizer manual).

          • Before sterilizers are started, the water levels need to be checked. (Ex: Autoclave=tubing indicator inside the door/Statim=the lid covering the mesh trap on the top of the unit). Make sure the collection container which drains under the Statim is not full. If sterilizers need to have water added to the units, use only distilled water. No tap or filtered water is to be used in these sterilizers.

          • The recommended cycle for the Statim is the “Wrapped” cycle which will run at 275oF (135oC) for 10 minutes.

          • The recommended cycle for the Autoclave is the “Packs” cycle which will run at 250oF (121oC) for 30 minutes.

            • After the cycle for the autoclave has been selected, push the ‘Start’ button and listen for the sound of water filling the reservoir. The sterilizer will now show it has started and you may then fill out the log for that sterilizer. (Print your name, current date, note the time started and place your initials).

  • It is imperative that the sterilizer run through the complete cycle from the “filling” phase through the “drying” phase. Do not interrupt the cycle at any point before the drying phase is complete.

  • HOLDING AREA FOR THE STERILIZED POUCHES/WRAPPED CASSETTES:

  • When removing the sterilized pouches/wrapped cassettes from the sterilizer, the DSS will initial each sterilized pouch/wrapped cassette clearly with their written initials once they have verified the following three items:

    • The internal/external indicators have changed to the appropriate color (pink to cocoa brown) according to the color chart.

    • There is a clearly marked date of sterilization.

    • There is a clearly marked sterilizer identifier.

  • The IPC/Safety Officer for the dental clinic will need to be notified.

  • The IPC/Safety Officer will notify the Dental Clinic Director and IPC Advisor for the Dental Department.



  • When removing the sterilized pouches/wrapped cassettes from the Holding Area, the DSS will initial each sterilized pouch /wrapped cassette clearly with their written initials for a second time after they verify the following three items:

          • The internal/external indicators have changed to the appropriate color (pink to cocoa brown) according to the color chart.

          • There is a clearly marked date of sterilization.

  • There is a clearly marked sterilizer identifier.

        • If the three previously stated items can be verified, the sterilized pouches/wrapped cassettes can be taken to the operatory/storage area.

        • If any of the three previously stated items cannot be verified, the pouches/wrapped cassettes will need to be repackaged and rerun through the sterilization process.

  • The IPC/Safety Officer for the dental clinic will need to be notified.

  • The IPC/Safety Officer will notify the Dental Clinic Director and IPC Advisor for the Dental Department.



  • When removing the sterilized pouches/wrapped cassettes from the storage areas and preparing for the next patient, the DSS will need to triple check the following three items:

          • The internal/external indicators changed to the appropriate color (from pink to cocoa brown) according to the color chart.

          • There is a clearly marked date of sterilization.

          • There is a clearly marked sterilizer identifier.

    • If the three previously stated items can be verified, the sterilized instruments and cassettes can be removed from the pouches and blue surgical wrap.

    • The DSS can set up for the next procedure.

        • Leave the sterilized pouches/blue surgical wrap on the counter for the dental provider/ DSS to verify.

        • The pouches and blue surgical wrap can then be thrown away.

        • If any of the three previously stated items cannot be verified, the pouches/wrapped cassettes will need to be repackaged and rerun through the sterilizations process.

          • The IPC/Safety Officer for the dental clinic will need to be notified.

          • The IPC/Safety Officer will notify the Dental Clinic Director and IPC Advisor for the Dental Department.



  • BREACH IN THE STERILIZATION PROCESS:

      • If a breach in the sterilization process is identified and the pouch/wrapped cassette has NOT been used in a dental procedure involving a patient:

    • The IPC/Safety Officer for the dental clinic will need to be notified.

  • The pouch/wrapped cassette will need to be re-packaged and re-run through the sterilization cycle.

  • The IPC/Safety Officer will need to notify the Dental Clinic Director and the IPC Advisor for the Dental Department.

  • If a breach in the sterilization process is identified and the pouch/wrapped cassette HAS been used in a dental procedure involving a patient:

    • The IPC/Safety Officer will need to be notified.

          • If IPC/ Safety Officer is absent, notify supervising DDS

    • The pouch/wrapped cassette will need to be pulled from the operatory/storage area.

    • Any other pouches/wrapped cassettes which have the same date of sterilization and the same sterilizer identifier will also need to be pulled from the dental operatory/storage areas.

    • The IPC/Safety Officer will need to notify the Dental Clinic Director and the IPC Advisor for the Dental Department.

    • The Dental Clinic Director will need to notify the appropriate people in the Medical Department and the Administration Department. The plan for a Failed Dental Sterilization Process will be initiated.



  • IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • The efficacy of the heat sterilizers are measured weekly through biological spore testing. Refer to the Spore Testing SOP.

  • Periodic maintenance (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual) needs to be completed and documented for each sterilizer (Autoclave/Statim).

    • Each sterilizer has its own manual with the maintenance schedule outlined.

    • Document the maintenance completed in a log specific to each sterilizer.

    • At the beginning of the month send a copy of each of the maintenance logs via interoffice mail to the Quality Coordinator/Trainer in Administration.

  • Periodic maintenance (daily, every 2 weeks, and annually) needs to be completed on the Miele as outlined in the manual.

  • Periodic maintenance needs to be completed on the Ultrasonic as outlined in the manual.

  • Periodic maintenance needs to be completed on the Assistina as outlined in the manual.

  • The countertops, door handles, and doors in the sterilization area are to be disinfected at least once per week. The proper PPE will need to be worn when using the dry 4X4s and the approved surface disinfectant.

  • The biohazard (red) bag in the sterilization area needs to be taken to the large clinic biohazard container at least once per week.



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