Chair and Delivery Systems
Cone Beam Systems
Autoclaves – Introduction
Also referred to as sterilizers, dental autoclaves use steam—at temperatures reaching 270° F—to completely sterilize surgical tools and dental instruments. Sterilizers lock while in use and unlock when instruments are sterile and dry. Depending on what is being sterilized, an autoclave cycle can range from 6 to 30 minutes. While steam is a common method for dental instrument sterilization, some dental sterilizers use dry heat and eliminate moisture from the process.
What are the features that doctors care about?
Chamber volume: this determines how much equipment can be sterilized at one time. Larger volume autoclaves can sterilize more pieces, but would cost more and have a larger footprint.
Manual vs. Automatic: Manual autoclaves are generally less expensive to buy and repair, but they take much longer to use. Automatic autoclaves cost a bit more, but they can save time and sometimes detect malfunctions.
Chamber vs. STATIM: Most autoclaves are steam chamber units, which use a large chamber that can hold multiple trays of instruments. Their main advantage is the ability to sterilize large volumes of instruments during each cycle. STATIM autoclaves use a cassette and slot to store the instruments during the cycle. These provide the operator with streamlined operation and generally faster cycle times than chamber autoclaves. However, they can’t sterilize as many instruments during a cycle.