Figure 1-13. Instruments and materials for basic examination.
b. The Sterile Pack.
(1) Certain instruments are required for each type of dental procedure. In
order to facilitate the work being done, these instruments can be prepared in advance.
Possibly days, or even weeks, before the actual operation is performed, the dental
assistant can wrap the proper instruments in a pack (usually paper or muslin) and
autoclave them. These sterile packs can then be stored and used whenever necessary.
This method will save both time and space in the dental clinic. The pack used most
frequently contains the basic examination instruments, with the exception of the saliva
ejector. These could be prepared long in advance since a basic examination is common
procedure for all types of dental work. Remember, though, that the type of material in
which the instruments are autoclaved determines how long they will remain sterile.
(2) The instruments found in the basic examination sterile pack is the
explorer, (number 6, number 17, or number 23), the mouth mirror, the periodontal probe,
cotton pliers, and 2x2-inch gauze pads.