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CDC Guidelines on Dental Handpieces Requiring Lines for Air and/or Water

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all oral instruments – including dental handpieces – that are dependent upon air and water lines that are capable of removal must be completely cleaned and undergo a special sterilization process that utilizes heat in-between all patients.

As a dental practitioner, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines as set forth by the CDC. In addition to thorough cleanings and heat sterilization, there are other guidelines that are set into place that you and your staff should know. Continue reading to learn about these procedures.

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Manufacturer Instruction

To ensure the proper care of your dental handpieces, you must follow the guidelines as outlined by the manufacturer of your dental instruments. This information will include that on proper cleaning techniques, the lubrication process, and the right type of sterilization for the device.

All manufacturer information should be read and adhered to on all dental instruments – be it dental handpieces, surgical pieces, motors, and attachments. In terms of reprocessing, you must ensure that the FDA has validated the dental instrument for such a purpose. We here at Hughes Dental ensure all reprocessed dental handpieces are validated by the organization.

Discovering FDA Clearance

As a dental practitioner, it is imperative that you know the steps that are required to ensure that a dental handpiece may be reprocessed. The FDA has a searchable database that may be used for this purpose. It is outlined as the 510(k) Premarket Notification.

When you visit this database, you will discover an online query system. This will ask for various types of information. Simply fill in the questionnaire as completely as possible and then hit “search”. This will return the relevant information in which you are searching. If you feel the database lacks the information that you are seeking, you should then reach out to the manufacturer of your device.

Clean Lines Thoroughly

If your dental handpieces depend on water and has associated water lines in which it may be unattached, it is imperative that you take the steps possible to ensure that those lines are thoroughly clean and sanitized. Biofilm actually develops on the interior of the water lines. In short, bacterial agents will develop at high rates within the lines.

Many of these have the potential to cause potentially devastating diseases. Examples include Mycobacterium and Legionella. Both your patients and your staff may become ill or experience other types of adverse health effects if the water you use in your practice is not properly treated. This treatment should be combined with thorough levels of cleaning and sanitation of the water lines and dental handpieces.

Improving the Quality of Water in the Dental Practice

All of the dental water used in your facility should meet the standards as issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. These standards are the same of that associated with drinking water.

In addition to these standards, you should check the manufacturer guidelines associated with your dental handpieces and associated lines for the proper methods and the equipment that will be required to ensure the absolute highest level of quality for the dental procedures that you form. Examples of methods for improving water quality include self-contained water systems, entire-practice lines that specialize in the purification of the water that you use, or a unique combination of both.

Disease Transmission

There are documented cases of diseases being transmitted to humans from unclean dental handpieces and the waterlines used for those dental instruments. The development of diseases and/or contamination could result in immense costs for your practice.

As a result of these facts, you must make every effort possible to adhere to the CDC guidelines on the proper care and sterilization of your dental handpieces and all associated components. Additionally, you should only rely on dental handpiece companies that follow these guidelines and will make every effort possible to ensure that your instruments are in good working order and perform optimally.

We Can Help

We here at Hughes Dental offer a broad line of products that will keep your dental practices running optimally. In addition to this, we also offer many services. You may ship your instruments to us for maintenance and repair. If we feel that your dental handpieces are beyond repair and care, we will work closely with you to help you order replacement dental instruments and/or associated components. We have years of experience in this industry. We view our relationship with your practice as a team collaboration. Start today by connecting with us: 1-800-773-0800

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