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Reprocessing and Maintenance of Handpieces and Attachments: Following the Recommendations

Categories: Infection Control

Author(s): Dr. Fiona M. Collins, BDS, MBA, MA

Date: 03-27-2019 14:11:44 pm

Instrument reprocessing of handpieces and attachments is an essential component of infection control and is based on the CDC guidelines. It is also essential that the manufacturer’s instructions for use (IFU) are followed and that all reprocessing procedures and the products used are in accordance with these. Handpieces and attachments that attach and detach to the dental unit’s air and water lines should be heat sterilized (autoclaved) in accordance with the IFU. In addition, the California Dental Practice Act, and regulations in other States require appropriate reprocessing as discussed in this article. For stand-alone cordless handpieces and motors, the manufacturer’s validated reprocessing instructions should be followed. Further, appropriate reprocessing and handpiece maintenance are important for the lifetime of handpieces (and attachments). Maintenance and proper use prevent wear, other damage, and failure of handpieces and attachments.

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