Cleaning and Sterilization of Dental Instruments

  • Devon L. AllisonEmail author
  • John A. McDaniel


All health-care professionals are responsible for maintenance and ensuring sterility of instruments used in medical care. The dental profession is no exception to this rule, and all staff and dentists are responsible for preventing infection control breaches in the operatory. Previous case reports have demonstrated that disease is transmissible from dental equipment to patients, making the cleaning and sterilization of dental instruments a top priority. In this chapter, we review the basic definitions used when describing cleaning and sterilization processes, as well as CDC classifications for instruments. We discuss the six major steps in instrument processing required to ensure dental equipment is processed efficiently and safely. Finally, we examine different sterility indicators and their use in quality assurance of proper sterilization.


Sterilization Disinfection Indicators Autoclave Quality assurance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbial PathogenesisSchool of Dentistry, University of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Central Management Services and Central SterilizationSchool of Dentistry, University of MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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