Post the Covid pandemic, when it comes to dental or medical procedures of all disciplines, you may know that infection control has been a crucial part of your practices’ safety and healthcare standards. Infection control is strongly related to proper disinfection and sterilization. In general, sterilization can prevent cross contamination and disease transformation that happen in all medical practices.
Running a practice makes each practitioner very hands on in relation to all sterilization process, including the usage of autoclaves. A private practice in this article is defined as 3 or less working rooms.
You rely on your staff members to operate the devices involved in the process to sterilize your medical instruments and surgical tools every day. selecting the right autoclave is vital and an essential piece of equipment investment for your practice.
If you are in the market for a new autoclave, here are several important tips that will help you to consider when making your decision. Ensuring you will get the most out of your investment.
Safety and reliability
Reliability is the number one consideration associated with an investment in the right autoclave.
The autoclave chamber is key –it works day in, day out to withstand extreme pressure and temperature. Looking for a high-quality premium made manufacturer is critical to guarantee the autoclave chamber and all other relevant parts are built with strict quality control using long withstanding raw material.
You’ll also need to consider an autoclave with extra safety mechanisms. For example, automatic autoclaves use high-temperature and high-pressure steam in the defined sterilization time to sterilize instruments and tools. The safety protection mechanism of each autoclave is a crucial consideration, the automatic double door locking mechanism is a good choice. It ensures the door is closed during the drying stage and can only open when the sterilization cycle is complete followed by pressing the unlock button.
This feature prevents re-contamination and keeps everyone safe. This is a feature found in all the Tuttnauer Fast drying Class S autoclave. For more information about the value of closed door drying watch this short video explanation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlViEWQwCHI
Space is key
In your practice, space is a valuable commodity, often offices are small and tight on space so that front-loading tabletop autoclaves (also called bench-top autoclaves) is the ideal size for you. It is designed to be compact and perfectly fit small areas to maximize your space. Tuttnauer offers a large variety of many tabletop autoclaves that offer small footprint with great performance. All meeting the strictest and most current international standards and regulatory requirements.
In private practices, you will commonly see a tabletop autoclave come in two versions of automatic and manual design.
The automatic autoclave performs the entire sterilization cycle with one click. Once you have your sterilization settings ready, the water will flow into the chamber, and then it will automatically start the complete sterilization cycle including drying. An automatic autoclave has many cycle features that are pre-programmed, very intuitive and easy to operate. For busy practices, the automatic autoclaves will eliminate any thinking and labor needed to operate. It will simply run on its own and be more efficient for your practice operation.
The manual autoclaves more economical compared to the automated ones.
Yet, with a manual autoclave, the operator performs various actions. The operator must control and monitor more process details for the complete sterilization – some critical factors as water filling into the chamber, set the correct temperature and timer, and more. There is a variety of Tuttnauer manual autoclaves, which are often purchased as secondary autoclaves when the workload is heavy and your practice needs more than just one autoclave.
The volume of items that needs to be sterilized
Ideally, you want an autoclave with a chamber that’s big enough for your largest instruments and the required load. The bigger capacity also means more costs and more energy consumption. You can use your largest instruments as a guide in determining your required autoclave chamber size.
Automatic autoclaves come in different shapes and sizes. The chamber’s capacity varies depending on the autoclave size. Since every autoclave is designed by different inner configurations, it can further determine how many racks fit into the chamber and how you load those items to be sterilized per sterilization cycle. For smaller private practices the T-Edge is designed to ideally utilize the chamber’s capacity, for growing practices or medium size practices, larger autoclaves such as Tuttnauer HSG with larger capacity is most ideal, because in the long run it will save you costs of running two smaller autoclaves.
It is most ideal if you had an idea about how many tools and instruments are to be sterilized daily.
Materials used for the autoclave
It is important to understand what types of materials you are using in your autoclave, not all instruments can be used in a steam sterilizer. A high-quality automatic autoclave can easily sterilize the following instruments:
- Dental handpieces
- Surgical tools
- Packet of tools
Some materials are not intended for high-pressure steam sterilization and might cause irreversible damage. These are instruments, that are often pricier, and are heat sensitive, and need a different sterilization process that include lower temperatures, as to not erode the utensil. You can find more information about this here, https://tuttnauer.com/medical-autoclaves/low-temperature-sterilizer
The different types of autoclaves
There are different kinds of autoclaves available in the market.
It is important to understand the differences of each autoclave. The most common types are Class N autoclave, Class S autoclave, and Class B autoclave.
If you have a busy practice, your staff members will want to spend less time to use an autoclave with easy-to-use controls to manage the sterilization process. Therefore, a unit that comes with pre-programmed sterilization cycles, intuitive and clear navigation with a quick click can be a good choice. What you need is a medical device that can make your workflow more effective and safer during your busy hours.
Introducing pure innovation. The ultimate autoclave
Tuttnauer has designed a new automatic class B autoclave called the T-Edge with Sterilization at the click of a button. It was designed with the understanding that your skills are needed in the practice and your time is of the essence. It is a compact autoclave with increased chamber size and decreased cycle time which means minimizing costs for your practice. The fast cycles take only 36 minutes for wrapped instruments at a complete cycle, including drying.
The device hosts real time monitoring via a smartphone in which the entire sterilization process can be documented archived and saved. The user-friendly touch screen control panel features display programs, cycles times, water levels and more.
- T-Edge combines durable and sturdy technology with ease-of-use
- Our autoclaves are designed to provide high quality repeatable performance and accountability for a wide range of applications used in modern practices of all types
- Safety & traceability: Ensure highest safety with a technology that monitors all relevant process parameters. The program logs provide you certainty and can be transferred via network connection or USB
- Flexibility: With integrated water reservoir, the stand-alone concept makes the autoclave completely independent of location and easy to install
In summary buying an autoclave is an expensive investment. Every user must hope his autoclave can be well performed and maintained for years. Make sure the unit you choose comes with a few years’ warranties and trained technicians to work on regular servicing and maintenance when you need them. It is always recommended that you research to ensure you know about the product and your needs, clarify which features are essential to you and find the best option that meets your needs.
Author: Tuttnauer Product Experts
Tuttnauer Team is made up of veteran staff at Tuttnauer that are responsible for communicating with our customers about sterilization and infection control. Let us know if there is anything specific you want to read more about.