Patients all over the world expect their dental equipment to be fully sterilized. Interestingly, this is something that has only become commonplace over the past two decades. Before that, it was only disinfected and cleaned.
However, due to the advent of HIV/AIDS, more stringent requirements were placed on hygiene, and the 3m attest started to get used in dental offices, alongside other equipment.
New Challenges, New Problems
Suddenly, dental practitioners had to wear masks, gloves, and eye protection. They also had to make sure that all their equipment was properly sterilized. Common equipment such as the dental drill was not made to be sterilized after every procedure, and this led to products continuously being in repair. In fact, some instruments even developed rust!
Luckily, the autoclave solved this issues. These are able to kill all of the main spores, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. It also has to use set temperatures and pressures. It is even possible to use a flash mode sterilizer, which is even hotter and has even more pressure. To date, no living organism on earth can survive that.
However, an autoclave is a machine and all machines can break down. Sometimes there is a failure in the heating equipment, or in the gasket, or it may develop cold spots, or it may be overfilled. This is why it is so important that they are tested properly, which is possible thanks to 3m attest, which looks at various biological indicators.
Attest is very easy to use and is provided in vials with culture media and bacterial spores. These are separated from each other using a crushable glass tube. It also comes with a log book and an incubator.
The Process of Sterilization
- One purple attest carpule can be used for each autoclave.
- The side of the carpule should state which autoclave it is in.
- The unbroken test carpule should be placed inside the autoclave that is loaded as normal, before running it.
- After the regular cycle has finished, the sport with the test carpule should be activated by crushing it.
- The activated carpule and the activated unsterilized control carpule are added to the incubator.
- Log the date of test, the time, and the results at start, after 24 hours, and after 48 hours.
- If the result is good (a negative reading), the carpule will show up as purple, just like the test one. This means that no bacteria grew. If the result is bad (a positive reading), then the color will turn yellow. This means that the bacteria have grown. If the result is positive, the autoclave should be cleaned and a new test should be completed. If the test is still positive, then the autoclave needs repairs.
As you can see, the 3m attest is incredibly easy to use and is scientifically accurate because it uses a control alongside the actual test. This way, as a dental office, you will know for sure that the equipment is always fully sterile.