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Sterilization/Disinfection

Sterilization / Disinfection

At PGA Dentistry, your safety and the safety of our team is a top priority! As always, we incorporate all recommended protocols for sterilization of our instruments and thorough disinfection of our equipment and treatment rooms to keep you safe and prevent the spread of disease. Now, we’re raising our standards even more to keep up with the times!

Patient Safety – 5 main areas of focus:

  • Sterilization of instruments and handpieces used for our patients
  • Disinfection of all equipment and surfaces in our facility
  • Controlling aerosol water spray from dental handpieces and ultrasonic scalers
  • Air quality in our facility
  • Water quality used for our patients


Sterilization of Dental Instruments & Handpieces

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have specific guidelines in sterilization that we strictly adhere to. All instruments and handpieces go through a three-step process to verify complete sterilization:

  1. Chemical Cleaning: All instruments and handpieces are thoroughly cleaned with an EPA registered hospital-grade detergent that removes all debris, proteins, and microorganisms before disinfection and sterilization.
  2. Chemical Disinfection: After cleaning, the instruments are ultrasonically soaked and disinfected in a hospital-grade disinfectant chemical for at least 30 minutes, eliminating all pathogenic organisms. The disinfected instruments are then dried and placed in sealed pouches in preparation for the next step.
  3. Autoclave Sterilization: Sealed pouches are completely sterilized in a pressurized autoclave at 270 °F for 30 minutes, killing absolutely all organisms, bacteria, or viruses. The pouches have colored indicators verifying complete sterilization has been accomplished. Our autoclaves are tested weekly to verify complete effectiveness.

Disinfection of All Equipment and Surfaces

We have always disinfected our equipment and surfaces in our clinical areas between each patient through a traditional 2-step process. Now we’ve raised our standards by adding a third step, surpassing the CDC or ADA recommendations with UV Light disinfection! UV light disinfection is the latest in hospital operating room disinfection, killing all pathogens, germs, bacteria, and viruses that could still survive after chemical disinfection. Below is our 3-step process for complete disinfection:

  1. Chemical Cleaning: All equipment and surfaces are cleaned of all debris with a hospital-grade cleaning solution prior to disinfection.
  2. Chemical Disinfection: After a thorough cleaning, all equipment and surfaces are wiped down with an EPA-registered chemical disinfectant that eliminates all pathogens, bacteria, and viruses.
  3. UV-Light Disinfection: After chemical disinfection, our treatment rooms are then disinfected with UV light between each patient. UV light kills absolutely all organisms on all equipment and surfaces to ensure 100% disinfection of the clinical setting in our facility.

Controlling aerosol water spray from dental handpieces and ultrasonic scalers

PGA Dentistry has incorporated Extra Oral Suction Devices in our treatment rooms. Extraoral suction is brand new to the dental profession and is only used by practices that choose to implement the cleanest, safest protocols of disinfection. These leading-edge safety devices are not mandated by the CDC or FDA, however, we’ve chosen to add them to our practice to offer our patients the safest and most comprehensive level of dental care available in modern dentistry.

When a dentist uses a dental handpiece or a hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaler to clean teeth, water spray is aerosolized into the surrounding environment. Fact is, that aerosolized water is filled with bacteria from that patient’s mouth, spreading germs through the immediate environment and contaminating the people and surfaces in the area.

By incorporating extraoral suction, literally all the aerosol spray is vacuumed into a high-power filtration system, capturing and eliminating 99.99% of all bacteria and viruses from surrounding area. This keeps treatment rooms much cleaner throughout procedures, keeping patients and clinical team members safe.

Air Quality in Our Facility

Our air conditioning systems are equipped with UV light bulbs in the ductwork, destroying all microbes like mold, bacteria, fungi, mildew, mold spores, and viruses in the air coming from our air ducts.

Our facility is also equipped with portable hospital-grade air purifiers that filter out 99.99% of all air borne particles and germs from the air in our dental office. The air in our practice is completely filtered and purified four (4) times per hour, eliminating all volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), bacteria, viruses, mold, and pollen. This ensures you are breathing the cleanest, freshest air possible, free of any germs or contaminants.

Water Quality used for Our Patients

Most dentists do not test their water lines, however “biofilm” or bacteria accumulation, is a common problem in dental waterlines. When a dentist uses a handpiece to prepare a tooth or a hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaler to clean your teeth, the water from those instruments is spraying into your mouth.

We’ve updated our water system to include charcoal filtration and UV disinfection to our water lines, filtering out and eliminating 99.99% of all particles, toxins, bacteria, and viruses from the water used in our office. This prevents the possible ingestion of any harmful chemicals or toxins into your system.

We understand your concerns, so when it comes to health and safety, we’re way ahead of the rest. By implementing sterilization and disinfection protocols far beyond guidelines recommended by the CDC and ADA, we know we’re offering our patients the highest level of care available in modern dentistry. At PGA Dentistry, you can trust that your dental visits are always in a safe, clean, and sterile environment.