c. Procedure. Before this phase of treatment, endodontic treatment of the root
canal of the tooth will have been performed. On the day of surgery, the dental specialist
should have the patient's radiographs nearby and should prepare the necessary
instruments for the operation. During the operation, the endodontic assistant must be
prepared to evacuate fluids and material from the site of incision and the floor of the
mouth. The assistant's technique of irrigation and evacuation of debris is essential for
good visibility. During the suturing, the dental specialist must keep visibility at a maximum
and use the scissors to cut suture material after each is tied. He also cleans the patient's
face, plans a future appointment, and records postoperative instructions of the dental
4-11. CARE AND CLEANING OF INSTRUMENTS
a. Alcohol Bath on a Cotton Roll. Endodontic files and reamers should be
cleaned by being placed in a cotton roll saturated with alcohol and rotated
counterclockwise. While pinching the cotton, the dental specialist withdraws the
instrument. This procedure removes debris from the furrows of instruments. It is
repeated as often as necessary.
b. Inspection of Instruments. At this time, the dental specialist should inspect
instruments for any remaining debris and signs of wear or instrument strain. Instrument
strain is recognized by sharp bends, stretching of the metal (convolutions appear
uneven), or rusting. These changes appear most often at the tip end of the instrument. A
broken instrument in a root canal often causes failure.
c. Sterilizing and Storing. After the instruments have been examined, they
should be sterilized and replaced in the instrument cabinet. Barbed broaches are used
once and discarded.
d. Special Care for Burs. All burs used in treatment should be cleaned with a
bur brush, sterilized, and replaced in their working order. The burs should not be placed
in water. It will rust them. Also, sterilization solutions should have a rust-inhibiting agent
(such as sodium nitrate) added.
e. The Cleaning of Surgical Equipment. All surgical equipment should be
scrubbed with soap and water, reassembled into the surgical pack, and autoclaved.