4-12. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
a. Be Cautious with Sharp Instruments. The endodontic assistant should
always keep in mind the sharpness of, and the infected debris on, the end of a file or
reamer. He should make every effort to handle the instruments with care.
b. Always Lay Instruments Flat. All instruments should be laid flat, always.
Short-handled instruments, such as files or reamers, can stand on end if they are tossed
carelessly into a sterilizer container or a drawer or onto the bracket table. Then, the next
person retrieving an instrument may bayonet his hand or finger. If that happens, the
instrument should be removed carefully and gently. Bleeding should be encouraged.
The wound should be washed with surgical soap and an antiseptic applied immediately.
Any signs of infection should receive proper treatment.
c. Handle the Hot Sterilizer Carefully. The hot instrument sterilizer (glass bead,
hot salt, or molten metal) must be handled carefully to keep from burning the operator, the
assistant, and the patient. The sterilizer operates at 450 F. It should be positioned so
that it is readily available to the dental officer, but cannot be touched accidentally.