Dental Autoclave Sterilizer Machine

Autoclaves use steam heat to kill any microbial life that may be present on a contaminated load. A load — also known as goods — is considered sterile once it has undergone a full sterilization cycle. Once a load is sterile, it can be used without fear of introducing foreign microorganisms into a sensitive environment, such as a laboratory, hospital operating room, food production facility, and so on. Different types of goods must be sterilized for different lengths of time and at different temperatures. Some autoclaves include additional features, such as vacuum functions, special cycles, and integral electric boilers.

What is Dental Autoclave?

A dental autoclave, also known as a steam sterilizer, is the machine that is used to properly sanitize dental equipment after its use. The autoclave is the machine that harnesses the power of high temperature and high-pressure steam in order to sterilize germs on dental equipment, such as forceps, intended for reuse, thus ensuring its safety for the next patient.

It utilizes high-pressure temperatures and steam to combat debris and bacteria. It meets the CDC requirements for proper sterilization and allows dentist offices to reuse a variety of their instruments and tools.

History of the Autoclave

Charles Chamberland invented the autoclave in 1879, but the concept of using steam in an enclosed space in order to prevent sickness has existed in some form or other since 1679.

The principles and methods for sterilization have remained largely unchanged for the past 150 years. In fact, most major advancements in autoclave technology since 1879 have revolved around sterilization process monitoring, autoclave safety, and sterilization cycle creation rather than alterations to the sterilization process.

Steam Sterilizer

Main Products

What is Sterility?

Most people have a working understanding that sterile goods are free of microorganisms and are, therefore, safe to use in medical, food production, research or other settings in which the presence of germs would be a significant safety hazard or detriment.

Exactly how many microorganisms will be left alive over time at a fixed temperature is expressed as a probabilistic logarithmic curve — a function that approaches but never reaches zero.

As the function approaches zero, one would typically choose a level of confidence — called the Sterility Assurance Level (SAL) — for the odds that the last microorganism present will survive.  Contrary to popular belief, sterilization is not binary where something is either sterile or non-sterile. Sterilization is a statistical event characterized by this confidence factor (SAL) . The general standard for SAL is 10-6, or a one-in-a-million chance of a single viable microorganism surviving. How long sterilization takes depends on the set temperature and SAL level desired; higher temperatures will achieve sterility faster.

Why Steam?

In order to kill a cell with heat, its temperature must be raised to a degree at which the proteins in the cell wall break down and coagulate. Steam is a very efficient medium for heat transference, which makes it an excellent way to destroy microbes. Air, on the other hand, is a very inefficient way to transfer heat/energy because of a concept known as the heat of vaporization.

It requires 80 kilocalories (kcal) of heat energy to bring one liter of water to its boiling point (100˚C). It would require 540 kcal to convert that liter of water into steam, which means that steam at 100˚C contains seven times as much energy as water at 100˚C.

That energy is what makes steam so much more efficient at destroying microorganisms. When steam encounters a cooler object, it condenses into water. Then, it transfers all of the energy that was used to boil the water directly into the water. This process heats up the cells far more efficiently than air at similar temperatures. This is why we use steam to achieve sterility.

How Does an Autoclave Work?

General Process

Whether it’s a small tabletop unit or a room-sized bulk unit, all autoclaves operate using principles similar to those of a common kitchen pressure cooker — that is, the door is locked to form a sealed chamber, and all air within that chamber is replaced by steam. The steam is then pressurized in order to bring it to the desired sterilization for the desired duration. Once the cycle is complete, the steam is exhausted, and goods can be removed.

For a more detailed explanation of the various phases of a sterilization cycle, please refer to the image shown below:

1. Purge Phase: Steam flows through the sterilizer and starts to displace the air; temperature and pressure ramp slightly to a continuous flow purge.

2. Exposure (Sterilization) Phase: During this phase, the autoclave’s control system is programmed to close the exhaust valve, thereby causing the interior temperature and pressure to increase to the desired setpoint. The program then maintains the desired temperature (dwells) until the desired time is reached.

3. Exhaust Phase: Pressure is released from the chamber through an exhaust valve and the interior is restored to an ambient pressure (though contents remain relatively hot).

How Does An Autoclave Sterilizer Work

How to Choose the Best for Your Dental Practice?

Sterilization is the process of removing microorganisms and spores that may be present in an object to prevent infection. Dental instruments that come into contact with blood and non-intact mucous membranes (forceps, prickles, forceps, forceps, scissors, elevators, files, files …) must always be used sterile, and the simplest way to sterilize instruments in a dental clinic is to use a Autoclave Class B.

Types of Autoclaves:

There exists various types of autoclaves which are ranked according to the type of instruments that can be used. The most common types are as follows:

Class N autoclaves

These are the simplest autoclaves. They remove only a portion of the air by gravity, so that the steam generated pushes the air outward. For this reason, they are not recommended for objects with holes or cannulas, and are only indicated for flat instruments such as scalpels. They do not admit sterilization of bagged instruments and are not recommended for a dental clinic.

Class-N-autoclaves

Class S autoclaves

This class remove the air inside the chamber using a wall of steam which is denser than air. During the sterilization cycle, they perform this process three times, thus ensuring the extraction of all indoor air. They can sterilize porous bagged products but not textile items and are therefore not recommended for use in dental clinics.

Class-S-autoclaves

Class B autoclaves

These autoclaves remove the air inside the chamber through the use of a vacuum pump, creating a negative pressure that forces steam entry. They can sterilize porous instruments with blind holes (turbines, against angles) and textile loads, so they are the autoclaves indicated for a dental clinic according to European standard 13060.

Class-B-autoclaves

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Class B Autoclave

As we have seen, for our dental clinic, we will need a Class B autoclave that allows us to sterilize instruments such as turbines or bagged contra-angles. However, when choosing one or the other model, we must take into account the following points:

  • Capacity of the autoclave: Class B autoclaves are manufactured with different capacities, ranging from 8 liters to 24 liters. The more capacity the autoclave has, the more instruments we can sterilize in each cycle, but the more energy it spends in each sterilization cycle. The price of the autoclave will also be proportional to its capacity. Therefore, we must adjust the autoclave’s capacity to our needs, as it makes no sense to purchase an autoclave of much greater capacity than we really need. This will save us money on the purchase and daily use. In addition, it is often more convenient to have two autoclaves smaller than a larger, because in this way we can perform two simultaneous sterilization cycles.
  • Duration of the sterilization cycle: It is always practical to look at how long it takes for each autoclave to perform a complete sterilization cycle. There are quick-cycle autoclaves, which saves time in autoclaving processes, although the price is usually a bit higher.
  • Warranty and Technical Service: Another important point to consider when choosing a dental autoclave is warranty and technical service. The vast majority of autoclaves have a warranty of one to two years, and if the autoclave brand does not have its own technical service, the most appropriate thing will be to look for a trustworthy multibrand technical service that can repair it. if one day we need it. Another benefit of having two autoclaves in the dental clinic will be that we will always have an autoclave available if we have to repair one of the two
  • Autoclave Price: The price of the autoclave will normally be closely related to its reliability and characteristics. European or American brands usually offer high quality autoclaves, while Chinese or Korean brands offer economical autoclaves of a quality that may be sufficient for a small dental clinic. The main disadvantage of these “cheap autoclaves” is that the technical service and after-sales service will surely be less advantageous and more complicated
  • Accessories: Class B autoclaves can incorporate accessories that will be very useful in some cases. For example, there are autoclaves with printers, which will facilitate the traceability of sterilized products.

Final Considerations Before Buying Your Autoclave:

  • Before buying an autoclave, you must take into account that for a dental clinic, you need a class B autoclave.
  • If you have a small and medium-sized clinic, you can choose an economical autoclave of average capacity. It is always better to have two medium size autoclaves than a large one. We recommend you take a look at this model: Autoclave class B 18 litres – The Premium
  • If you have a large clinic in which you are going to use the autoclave very intensively, you should go for a high-end autoclave which will provide you with superior reliability and technical service. In this case, at Dentaltix we recommend this autoclave: Autoclave B Futura

What is the best dental autoclave?

The experts proved: the most effective autoclaves for dental tools are based on steam.

Dry steam or wet steam machine  — depends on you. The wet steam autoclaves increase the duration of the process for a while. We can explain this by saying that the drying process is highly important in sterilizing and it makes possible to use the tools right after the sterilization is complete.

How to use a dental autoclave?

There is nothing difficult in using autoclaves. Generally, this device is doing all the main job by itself. But for those who face autoclave for the first time, we should talk about general aspects of utilization.

The functioning of autoclave: step by step

  1. Prepare the instruments, using your device instructions or the information we wrote below.
  2. Put the tools into the Dental Autoclave.
  3. Close it until its process is running.
  4. Wait until the equipment is sterile and dry.
  5. Make sure there is no pressure in the chamber and remove the tools.
  6. The instruments are ready to be re-used.

And this is how to autoclave dental instruments: you just put the instruments into the chamber and the autoclave does everything else for you.

After these simple series of maneuvers temperature-treated tools are completely safe to use, so there are no chances to get infected or for your clients to be afraid of any kind of viruses, bacteria, microbes.

How to clean dental autoclave?

Your dental equipment needs cleaning, so as the device for sterilization. It is necessary to clean the autoclave every day after using. Before cleaning, disconnect the power cord. Then mix some water with a cleanser, wet a sponge in this mixture and gently clean the inner side of the device’s door.

Once a week, again use a sponge, clean the reservoir, where water basically is in. Also, you need to use a special solution to wash out the chamber, but please, follow the directions that are given in your product instructions.

Select the right type of solution or soapy water to clean the outer side of an autoclave and dry it with a soft clean cloth.

This is it, your autoclave is clean and always ready to be used again.

How often should dental autoclave be serviced?

Your dental autoclave will serve during the promised term if you clean it as many times as it is necessary. It requires a different degree of purification every time duration — per days, months and years of using. But as a must, make sure, that you check-up the autoclave every six months. In case if it may need the maintenance.

So, after 6 months of using an autoclave, contact a service center to prevent your device from breaking.

Let’s make some conclusions. An autoclave is a device for equipment sterilization. They are mostly used in the medical field. Making a choice to buy an autoclave, you should pay attention to the size of the device. If you have a small room, the best variant for you – is a mini-autoclave. But note, that it may not probably fit all your equipment at once. So if you have a chance to accommodate a bigger machine, do this. It will save your time in a few times.

The most important in serving autoclaves is a usual cleaning. There some rules how to clean autoclave, that prevents from malfunctioning of the machine and from its rapid breakdown.

And remember, to buy a good autoclave for your dental service – is always a worthy contribution.

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