I went to to dentist yesterday and they cleaned my teeth with an ultrasonic device which shoots high pressure water onto my teeth to clean them. Afterwards, the hygentist threw the used ultrasonic tip into a container which has a green liquid in it. After I had my teeth cleaned, I asked the hygentist how the ultrasonic tip was cleaned. She advised me that this tip is heat sensitive so it could not be autoclaved and is cold sterilized instead. She advised me that the tip, which touched my bloody gums, soaks in the green cleaner liquid for over 24 hours and then is sterile to use again on another patient. Afterwards, I asked the dentist, and she advised that everything is autoclaved, which is not what the hygentist told me. The dentist then told me, "if you dont like it, you can find another dentist." I feel like the posibility exists that I could have been exposed to some type of disease. maybe HIV or Hepatitis. What is the normal way to clean the heat sensitive parts of the ultrasonic cleaner / scalers, and is what the hygentist told me about the cold sterilization correct. I am really worried now. Thank you for a response.

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  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 25 - October - 2011, at 22:29 PM

  • Some scaling tips are heat sensitive and in such cases cold sterlization is done. In cold sterlization, chemicals are used and if complete disinfection is needed then instruments have to be soaked in chemicals for 10 hours and for dental instruments Cidex is used, which sterlizes the instruments. If your hygnist is saying that tips are soaked for 24 hours then that is more than sufficient for sterlizing the tip. For more info on sterlization in dental office you can read this article... http://www.identalhub.com/dental-how-sterilization-is-done-in-dental-office-769.aspx

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