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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 50-53

An in vitro evaluation of the efficiency of various disinfection and sterilization methods to decontaminate dental handpieces

Department of Prosthodontics, Azeezia College of Dental Science and Research, Kollam, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Sreelekshmi Sreekumar
Department of Prosthodontics, Azzezia College of Dental Science and Research, Kollam - 691 537, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_19_18

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Background: Improper decontamination methods employed in the dental clinics to clean dental handpieces often lead to cross-transmission of diseases among patients and dental professionals. Aims and Objectives: The present study evaluates the efficiency of moist heat sterilization using autoclave and disinfection methods such as alcohol and a commercially available disinfectant (Decident™) to decontaminate dental handpieces. Materials and Methods: For the present study, sixty contaminated handpieces were selected and divided into four groups of 15 handpieces. They were then contaminated using a mixture of Streptococcus salivarius, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans. Sterilization using autoclave and disinfection procedures using a commercially available disinfectant (Decident™) and 70% isopropyl alcohol was done on each group. The handpieces were then subjected to manual scrubbing followed by bacteriological culture. Results: The study revealed that moist autoclave is the best way to decontaminate the dental handpieces. Further, it was shown that proper cleaning of the instrument prior to autoclave, as recommended by the American Dental Association's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is required for 100% efficiency. Statistically significant presence of S. salivarius and E. coli was found in samples disinfected with Decident™ and 70% isopropyl alcohol, respectively. Conclusion: The study revealed that moist autoclave, following the procedures recommended by the CDC, still remains as the gold standard of sterilization of dental handpieces.

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