We’re back to talk about the next step in remodeling your dinosaur sterilization room. Last week we talked about instruments and cassettes—specifically how to streamline your instrument needs for each orthodontic procedure and determining the size and number cassettes you will need on a daily basis. Now that you know that number, you can start thinking about cleaning and sterilization equipment. 

In this episode of In the Sterilization Room with Jackie, sterilization and infection prevention expert Jackie Dorst, RDH, BS, lays out your equipment options. When it comes to instrument cleaning, orthodontic practices have two options: traditional ultrasonic or the newer instrument washers. Jackie explains the the workflow behind each method to help you decide what’s right for your sterilization room, as well as requirements to make each method effective. And when it comes to sterilization equipment, Jackie talks about the latest technology, specifically steam sterilization and autoclaves. She dives into the three different autoclave categories—traditional gravity, pulse (otherwise known as STATIMs), and dynamic air removal—and the ins and out of each. In addition, Jackie provides advice on how to protect your instruments during the cleaning and sterilization process—specifically how to prevent corrosion and rust.

Jackie also talks about your instrument storage needs once the sterilization process is complete. She talks about why she recommends an upper cabinet with see-thru doors for your sterile instrument packages, not an open shelf or counter top storage, and drawers beneath for pouches with those occasionally used instruments. Jackie goes on to discuss the importance of centralized sterile storage to reduce the volume of cassettes and instruments you need to invest in.  

And as we’re focused on remodeling the sterilization room during this multi-part series, Jackie talks about sterilization room layout now that you’ve decided on your cleaning and sterilization equipment. She talks about equipment placement and countertop space needs as well as ensuring that your layout creates efficiency and prevents cross-contamination. OP

Catch up on the first two parts of this multi-part series on remodeling your outdated sterilization room:

Part 1: The 4 Stages of a Remodel

Part 2: Choosing Your Instruments & Cassettes