It is an operation involving the use of procedures aiming at destroying or stopping the growth of microorganisms – all, vegetative, endosporic, and sporic forms of microorganisms. A correctly sterilized material is aseptic (sterile) – it does not contain any microorganisms (also viruses) and their endosporic forms.
In Dental Fraternity, we use saturated pressured vapor sterilization, performed in autoclaves (pressure chambers) equipped with instruments to measure temperature and pressure and proper security elements (valve). Vapor sterilization is currently one of the best methods of disinfecting tools and instruments. Our clinic is equipped with the highest quality pressure apparatus made of the best quality materials and components, which guarantees reliability and dependability of operations.
The sterilization process must be constantly controlled to guarantee its proper biological, physical, and chemical quality. Physical indicators which we use include thermometers, check sheets, menometers, and light signal lamps allowing to determine the device’s technical condition.
Autoclaves are equipped with devices that register these parameters. Chemical indicators, by changing the colour of the substance included in them, show that given parameters of the sterilization process have been reached. Chemical indicators can be divided into external ones, which quickly change their colour and are placed outside each packaging, informing that the sterilization process took place, and the internal ones – to be inserted into the package. The latter ones slowly change their colour, providing information about the achievement of all sterilization parameters.
The last indicators – biological ones – serve for determining to what extent microorganisms and their endospores are destroyed in the sterilization process. These indicators include endospores of selected bacteria strains which are highly resistant to a given sterilization agent. In the biological control, we distinguish an external control performed by a sanitary and epidemiological station once every three months, and an internal one performed by an autoclave user at least once a month and after each equipment repair.
Sterilized packages must be stored in indicated drawers of cabinets in the way to prevent their discontinuity. Packages with damaged packaging are considered non-sterile. Temperature in rooms where sterile packages are stored should oscillate around 23ºC, and the humidity should be close to 50%.