Provision of sterile equipment is pivotal in centers where health services are rendered. Ranging from dental clinics to other medical establishments, you can bet on the vitality of such a procedure. In dental clinics, the custom tray must always be sterilized alongside other equipment used. The grave repercussions of using an unsterilized equipment can only be imagined. In other terms, a medical practitioner must always ensure that, before any procedure, the instruments to be used are sterile.
Dry heat sterilization methods are of two types: the static air type and the forced air type.
This kind of sterilization is commonly referred to as the oven type sterilizer. Here, the heating coils which are found at the bottommost part of the unit initiates the rising of the hot air inside the chamber through gravity convection. This dry heat sterilizer is, however, relatively slow in heating and a consequential longer time for sterilization of the custom tray.
Here, the sterilizer has a motor driven blower that circulates hot air throughout the chamber. The hot air is blown at a high velocity which makes it possible to transmit the energy faster form the air to the instrument. Forced air type dry heat sterilization method, unlike its static counterpart, ensures that the hot air is spread uniformly throughout the chamber thus making it more ideal.
For sterilization to be attained, there are factors that have to be considered some of which are listed below.
Heat works to denature proteins in bacteria on the custom tray. Essentially, denaturing involves disrupting the hydrogen bonds and thus leading to the death of the bacteria. When the temperature of the autoclave is tuned higher, it reduces the time it would take to sterilize the custom tray. In the autoclave, the temperature of the saturated steam is in direct proportion to pressure.
The fundamental goal of sterilization is to kill all organisms. However, all organisms do not die at the same time. This brings in the time factor in during the process of sterilization. Basically, you have to maintain sterilization conditions inside the autoclave chamber for a time sufficient enough to kill the organisms on the custom tray that take a relatively longer time to die. Otherwise, you’d not be killing all the organisms on the equipment.
Air insulates the surface of the custom tray being sterilized hence preventing it from effectively being sterilized. So to ensure you have done the process optimally, you must see to it that you remove the air from the surface of the custom tray. Failure to remove it, a contamination spot can form on the surface which can be turn out to be dangerous for the patient who would go through the procedure. There are two methods you can use to remove air from the surface of the custom tray: gravity displacement autoclaves and dynamic air removal method.
So in summary, the methods of dry heat sterilization above are selectively applicable in certain instruments. Additionally, you have to work within the manufacturer’s set conditions lest you cause a malfunction of the sterilizer or destroy the custom tray for instance. Not to forget, the success of sterilization will depend on whether or not you have followed instructions.