Mt Eden Dental Surgery Mt Eden
Dental Surgery

What are Autoclaves ?

23 Feb 2019

Autoclaves (1).JPG An Autoclave is a pressure chamber used to sterilise equipment by subjecting it to high pressure saturated steam at 121degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes. Increasing the pressure within the autoclave energises the water molecules even more ,increasing the temperature of the steam. Our autoclaves can hit 135 degrees Celsius. Under these conditions the steam will penetrate and kill all organisms and their endospores in about 15 minutes. Our Sirona DAC Autoclaves built by Siemens meet the high requirements for large sterilisers in hospitals that operate with 3-fold fractionated pre-vacuum stages to ensure complete steam penetration.

We have two expensive autoclaves and they are regularly tested ,serviced and certified to the manufacturers specifications. Not all practices do, they may tell you they have an autoclave , but how good is it and why do we have two? Well think about what happens if one breaks down , and they do, high pressure, water and electricity is not a good combination. Think about the fact that if an autoclave has too many instruments put in it then you don't get complete penetration or adequately high temperatures. What happens in a practice with not enough autoclaves if the instruments needed are going through the sterilisation cycle and a nurse decides to get them out before it is complete.

There is a lot of fluff in the marketing of dentistry today , but it pays not to forget the basics, the instruments Dentists use in your mouth should be sterile or one-use disposable instruments. Check out the sterile room in the practice you choose.

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