Why Dry Heat Sterilizers?
1. Are dry heat sterilizers as effective as other sterilizers?
Yes, dry heat sterilizers are FDA registered and must be validated using the same or similar tests as other sterilizers resulting in a SAL of 10-6 (sterility assurance level using B. atrophaeus). Dry heat sterilizers that comply with ANSI/AAMI ST40 and ANSI/AAMI ST50 standards should be used.
2. What are the main advantages of using a dry heat sterilizer?
The first advantage of using this type of sterilizer is metal tools and instruments will not rust, allowing these tools and instruments to last much longer. Other advantages include less pitting and dulling of sharps, and no drying time is required.
3. What are some of the items that can be sterilized?
Dry heat sterilizers are commonly used with dental instruments, burrs, reusable needles, glass syringes, medical instruments, glassware, and heat-stable powders and oils. For any given item, the manufacturer's written instructions should be consulted to verify that dry heat sterilization is appropriate.
4. What are the time and temperature settings for the Steri-Dent Model 200 and Model 300 units?
The recommended time is 60 minutes once the sterilizer has been preheated. The operating temperature is 320° F (160° C). These are outlined in the operating manual.
5. What is a rapid heat sterilizer?
The COX rapid heat sterilizer is a dry heat sterilizer that incorporates a blower within the sterilizing chamber to move hot air across the tools or instruments. This allows for a much shorter sterilizing cycle.
6. What are the time and temperature settings for the COX rapid heat sterilizer?
The COX sterilizer operates at 375° F (190° C) for 6, 8, or 12 minute cycles depending upon the load. A 6 minute cycle is used for unwrapped tools and instruments, an 8 minute cycle for hand pieces, and a 12 minute cycle for wrapped tools and instruments and also for tools and instruments in cassettes.
7. When using sterilizer bags, are special sterilizer bags needed for dry heat?
Yes, sterilizer bags designed for dry heat need to be used with dry heat or rapid heat sterilizers. Autoclave bags are not designed for this application and should not be used.