Ever wonder what are the most commonly used procedures for decontaminating carbide debonding burs? It’s essential for any dental institution to have set in place proper sterilization methods for their dental instruments. But in a nationwide study, could it be determined if these dental institutions were using best practices for sterilization? Whether the dental instrument is reusable or disposable, only accepted national standards of cleaning and sterilization could be accepted.
A study was actually conducted within the UK to determine the current pattern use of TCDBs (tungsten carbide burs) in multiple dental orthodontic departments throughout the country. The cross-sectional survey was sent to 217 departments in the UK, with a response rate of more than 90% being achieved. The study wanted to determine whether or not proper sterilization procedures were being conducted in dental orthodontic procedures across the nation. The results revealed that the majority of hospital departments (68%) used debonding burs with slow speed handpieces. About half of the departments (55%) discarded their debonding burs after being used one time. Additionally, 24% of the departments surveyed decontaminated their TCDBs prior to initial use.
The most common method for sterilization of the debonding burs involved a sterilizer and presterilization cleaning. The most common presterilization methods included manual cleaning, an ultrasonic bath (26%) or a dishwasher disinfector (15%). Some departments also opted to soak their burs and then apply a manual cleaning (13%). Other departments only reported using a single method for sterilization of their debonding dental burs. The most commonly used single methods were manual cleaning (29%) and the use of washer disinfector (10%). Additionally, the most common forms of sterilization included the use of vacuum phase autoclave (58%) or a downward displacement (13%).
The study showed that dental orthodontic departments all over the UK used various methods for handling TCDBs. Less than one-third of the departments surveyed decontaminated new TCDBs before initial use. Although debonding burs are classified as a reusable dental instrument, only 55% of those surveyed discarded after initial use. But the study confirmed that the departments that re-used their burs were all decontaminating in a proper and nationally acceptable manner.