Sterilization and Safety

Our top priority is your safety! When you visit our offices, you should have the confidence that you are not only receiving the best dental care available, but that the instruments used to provide that care are sterilized based on the recommendations of the American Dental Association. After all, the ADA sets the standard for quality dental care sterilization procedures.

All instruments that are used in our operatories are either sterilized based on the ADA’s recommendations or disposed of after one use.

Instruments which undergo sterilization are first immersed in an Ultrasonic, a device which uses cleaning solution and vibrations to shake any debris from the instruments. Next, each instrument is individually wrapped in sterilization packing and subjected to a Cold Sterilization Tank or an Autoclave, depending on instrument type. The Autoclave sterilizes with heated steam under pressure, reaching or exceeding 273ºF. (For reference, the boiling point of water is 212ºF.) Finally, all instruments are then stored in sterile cupboards until their use is again required.

Commitment to Safety

We stringently adhere to and exceeded the recommendations of the American Dental Association. Highlights of our sterilization procedures include the following:

We wear gloves, masks, and safety glasses when providing patients with dental care.
We wash our hands with a germ-killing soap and change gloves after each patient.
We autoclave (steam-pressure sterilize) all instruments and hand pieces after each use. We analyze the efficacy of our sterilization equipment regularly with special microbial tests.
After each patient, we discard all disposable items used during treatment and thoroughly disinfect each room using a standard protocol.
We use purified Waterclave water for all procedures, exceeding the American Dental Association dental unit water line water quality guidelines.


The American Dental Association (ADA), the Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedure (OSAP), and the Centers for Disease Control recommended new guidelines for water filtration in America’s dental offices, requiring that previous methods utilized – such as dual filtration systems and a dual pretreatment flushing method – be upgraded to standards like those obtainable using a newly-developed system known as the Waterclave Filtration System.

While our practice previously employed dual filtration systems and a dual pretreatment flushing method to help minimize the bacteria count in our water lines, we realized this was not enough. Therefore, our Waterloo office has purchased and installed the high tech Waterclave water filtration system, at a cost of over $35,000. Our office is the first of six in the United States to implement this revolutionary new technology. Our great results of water purification helped obtain FDA certification for this product.

Waterclave in Action

Dental units and their waterlines, by design, efficiently manage water through their respective water ports, but these low-flow and narrow tubing diameter characteristics create an ideal environment for bacteria to attach and multiply, creating a biofilm that can contaminate dental unit water to greater than 250,000 CFU/ml. Organisms isolated from dental unit water that may pose specific risks to susceptible individuals include Pseudomonas, legionella, and non-tuberculous Mycobacterium species.

The Waterclave Water Purifier’s closed system uses the same effective microbial control methods as the autoclave, using deoxygenating steam under pressure (270°F, 25psi) to rid dental treatment water of viable bacteria. The result is safe, bacteria-free coolant water.

The Waterclave Water Purifier exceeds the ADA goal for dental unit water quality. It helps protect from exposure to bacteria-laden aerosols and gives patients clean, high quality dental treatment water.