(2) Other waste. Other disposable items (such as saliva ejectors, aspirator
tips, mouth props, rubber dams, gloves, and masks) may be disposed of in general
(3) Cautions. Containers must be closed when moved and placed in a
second container if leakage is a possibility.
d. Placement of Containers. Regulated waste containers with red bags or
biohazard labels (meaning biological hazard) must be situated in each operatory/work
area. In open bay clinics, one per bay is sufficient. In isolated operatories, one per
operatory is required.
Section II. DISINFECTION
2-16. STERILIZATION AND DISINFECTION OF DENTAL TREATMENT ROOM
The design, size, and construction of some dental equipment complicate
disinfection and sterilization. Although it would be ideal for all instruments and
equipment to be sterilized, this is impossible. The dental specialist should have a clear
understanding of effective agents and techniques used to disinfect items that cannot be
heat sterilized. At one time, immersion "cold sterilization" with chemicals was widely
used in dentistry. Today, DENTACs rarely use chemical sterilants as an alternative for
the preferred heat sterilization.
2-17. WATER LINES
Organisms growing in the dental unit water lines can be a source of cross
contamination between patients. To reduce this possibility, flush water through the
drinking water dispenser, air/water syringe, and high-speed handpiece for 3 to 5
minutes at the beginning of each day. In addition, flush the water lines for at least 15
seconds between patients.
2-18. USE OF CHEMICAL AGENTS FOR DISINFECTION
Dental operatory equipment and surroundings are frequently exposed to spray,
splatter, and contaminated gloves during patient treatment. It is impossible to sterilize
these areas, but chemical disinfection is a practical alternative. Room temperature
chemical agents can be used to disinfect certain items when sterilization is not
recommended (such as with safety glasses). Anything that can be sterilized should be
sterilized. Disinfection is impossible to verify; therefore, it is extremely important to be
thorough. There is no perfect or ideal disinfectant at this time. Disinfection is effective
for its limited purpose, but is not a substitute for sterilization.