Sterilization In Orthodontic Clinic
Authors: Devinder Preet Singh
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Sterilization is defined as process by which an article surface or medium is freed of all micro-organisms including virus, bacteria, spores and fungi both pathogenic and non-pathogenic. A sterile object, in the microbiological sense, is free of living microorganisms. The objective of sterilization is to remove microorganisms or destroy them from materials or from areas since they cause contamination, infection and decay. The methods of sterilization employed depend on the purpose for which it is carried out, the material, which has to be sterilized, and the nature of the microorganisms that are to be removed or destroyed. Various physical and chemical agents are used in sterilization and disinfection of orthodontic materials and instruments such as sunlight, heat, filtration, radiation, ultrasonic vibrations, alcohols, halogens, dyes, aldehydes, gases, phenols etc. Specific issues in orthodontic office that needs to be addressed include increased handwashing, use of barrier techniques, puncture proof containers for disposal of sharps and heat sterilization of handpieces and orthodontic instruments. This is of utmost importance to keep patient to patient and dentist to patient infection transmission at minimum. However, further research is required to investigate occupational injuries and infection control in orthodontic office.