Celebrating 20 Years of Business!


How Long Do Dental Instruments Remain Sterile?

Autoclaving is the most effective way of cleaning and sterilizing dental instruments. An autoclave puts these dental instruments under extreme heat and pressure, killing off any bacteria that may be present. The autoclave does an excellent job of cleaning, but once opened, instruments must be handled carefully to avoid contaminating them again and to keep them sterile. Even with proper guidelines followed, dental instruments will not remain sterile again forever.

The shelf life of a sterile dental instrucment varies based on factors such as humidity, temperature and more, there are some ways that you can keep these instruments sterile for long.

First, make sure to dry your instruments before you sterilize them. This helps to make sure the autoclave is able to dry off all of the moisture it applies, and no excess moisture remains on the instrument after the autoclave process.

Second, wraps and pouches should be used and sealed with the instrument. Without a wrap or pouch, the instrument will immediately become contaminated once it is exposed to the outside air, and new bacteria will begin to grow. Make sure that you use a proper autoclave pouch for your equipment and instrument, and that it is correctly sealed.

Lastly, provided the process has been carried out correctly, properly sterilized and wrapped dental instruments should remain sterile for around 30 days. If an instrument is left longer than 30 days, or the wrap is damaged in any way, it should be resterilized in the autoclave before being used on a patient.

For your dental clinic sterilization equipment needs, make sure to check out Alpha Scientific.