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Dental - Infection Control and Sterilization Process Template

Use this template to set up an infection control and sterilization process at your dental practice.

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Dental - Infection Control and Sterilization Process Template

Use this template to set up an infection control and sterilization process at your dental practice.

Introduction to Infection Control

Our Dedication to Infection Control

At our dental practice, we adhere to stringent infection control and sterilization standards to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. This policy provides a comprehensive guide for sterilization technicians, regardless of their experience level.

Infection control is crucial in a dental practice to prevent transmission of infectious diseases. Our practice adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

  • Understand the principles of infection control, including the chain of infection and how to break it.
  • Follow standard precautions at all times, treating all patients as potential sources of infection.
  • Implement stringent hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette, and sharps safety measures.

🔥 Tip: Check out our OSHA Compliance Policy for a comprehensive overview of health and safety practices at our dental office.

The Sterilization Process

Step 1: Preparation for Sterilization

Before sterilization, instruments must be cleaned to remove any debris. This usually takes place in a designated decontamination area.

  1. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) — gloves, mask, eye protection, and a protective gown. 🔥 Tip: Check out our content on PPE  for best use and disposal practices.
  2. Collect used instruments from each operatory.
  3. Rinse the instruments under running water to remove visible debris.
  4. Instruments should be placed in the ultrasonic cleaner, filled with an enzymatic solution, to remove any remaining debris. If an ultrasonic cleaner is not available, instruments should be manually scrubbed with a long-handled brush.
  5. Rinse the instruments again after cleaning.

Step 2: Packaging for Sterilization

Proper packaging prior to sterilization is essential to maintain sterility after the process.

  1. Dry the instruments completely to prevent rusting.
  2. Package instruments into pouches or wrap them with sterilization wrap. Each package should contain a chemical indicator strip.
  3. Sealed pouches should be placed with the plastic side down in the sterilizer tray.

Step 3: Sterilization Process

Sterilization kills all forms of microbial life, including bacteria, viruses, and spores.

  1. Load the sterilizer following the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Run the sterilization cycle as per the manufacturer's recommended settings for time, temperature, and pressure.
  3. Once the cycle is complete, allow the instruments to cool in the sterilizer before unloading.

Step 4: Storage of Sterilized Instruments

Proper storage is necessary to maintain the sterility of instruments until they are used.

  1. Store sterilized instruments in a designated clean area, away from the decontamination area.
  2. Instruments should remain sealed in their packages until just before they are needed.
  3. Check packages for any damage or signs of moisture before use. If a package is damaged or wet, the contents should be re-cleaned and re-sterilized.

Step 5: Environmental Cleaning

Regular cleaning of the environment is also part of infection control.

  1. Clean the surfaces of the dental operatory between patients using an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant.
  2. Follow a regular schedule for cleaning other areas of the dental office, including waiting rooms and restrooms.


Remember, the sterilization process is only as effective as the person carrying it out. Therefore, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for all equipment and materials. If in doubt, don't hesitate to seek assistance. By adhering to these steps, we can maintain a high standard of care and safety at our practice.

Questions? We got you! Reach out to the owner of this subject via Slack.

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