Wet dental tools


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Hi, I have a question ,I will make it quick,I went to get my teeth cleaned and she pulled open a bag with the instruments and they were wet inside,I never saw that and asked why are they wet,she said the steaming process from the auto clave does that to them sometimes. WELL HERE WE ARE,so my question is,is that truthful? also are they still sterilized if wet in package? and am i at any risk for anything? Please answer my question ,any advice would help ,even if its scary ,lol
 
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MattKW

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Probably been through an autoclave because it works on steam, pressure, heat, and time. But they should come out dry. That autoclave needs servicing and certification. Or it's a cheap autoclave. You are probably safe.
 
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Thank you ,I never saw them come out wet,I made the mistake of googling it and it terrified me,It said if they come out wet they harbor bacteria,is that true? and should i say something or just let it go to my dentist,i love it there
 
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I can agree with MattKW. Some models of autoclaves, can make the packaging containing the instruments appear wet after steam sterilization and sometimes the instruments too. Usually they leave them out to dry. It might be that they were busy and had to rush and therefore did not leave them out. Some packaging is specifically designed to indicate if sterilization has been completed successfully. For example, little black stripes appear on the packaging.
9/10 you are safe. But don't hesitate to ask your dentist about it. A honest dentist will surely put your mind at ease.
 
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wow,you are so very kind ,thank you . I do feel better and honestly ,that was kind of the 2 of you to answer. The internet can be very informative where it scares you and doesn't tell you they are worst case scenarios,again have a great day and thank you so very much :) I remembered what the pouch looked like and googled that they have an indicator that shows pink to brown and it was brown on the top ,so ,it just didn't have adequate time to dry.
 
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wow,you are so very kind ,thank you . I do feel better and honestly ,that was kind of the 2 of you to answer. The internet can be very informative where it scares you and doesn't tell you they are worst case scenarios,again have a great day and thank you so very much :) I remembered what the pouch looked like and googled that they have an indicator that shows pink to brown and it was brown on the top ,so ,it just didn't have adequate time to dry.
No problem. Here to help
 

MattKW

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Just to clarify: if they are wet, then there is the capacity to transfer bacteria into the bags, so they should be dry. In a dental surgery setting, it could be argued that the chance of cross-infection from wicking is miniscule, and that's why I say you'll be safe. But they should NOT be wet packs. So there's something inadequate or wrong with the autoclave.
The indicators on the bag are limited in their usefulness. they really only show that the bag has been exposed to autoclaving, but do NOT indicate if it has been effective. For that you need to examine the printout, and use Bowie-Dick tests or similar as required. Ask to see their daily records and proof of regular validation (certification).
 
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ummmm,well,I guess at this point I cant worry about it,I know for next time to just leave and say I have a stomach ache,lol :) . There isn't anything I can do ,they were already used on me ,What kinds of bacteria are they talking about? Hep. C and things of that nature? I did ask her and I wish they would of been honest with me and just said at this time we dont have adequate tools,but this was the first time ever they were wet,I did read some moisture is expected ,is that incorrect?
 
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If I ask for all that stuff to prove there auto clave is working ,they may never want me back ! lol
 

MattKW

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ummmm,well,I guess at this point I cant worry about it,...
The instruments MAY have been sterilised, but a wet bag can potentially allow micro-oranisms to re-enter. I personally wouldn't worry about it, as the chances are extremely low. But we don't know if they really have been sterilised, do we? All we really know is that they appear to have been through an autoclave. Nobody should shoo you away from asking these questions - I am always happy to show my processes and records. If they don't want to allow that, then I'd contact the dental board for an inspection.
In Australia, if an inspector comes out for ANY reason, he will also ask the dentist in charge to show sterilising processes and records even though it may not be relevant to the current investigation. And the dentist can't simply direct the inspector to a staff member; the DENTIST must know the details.
 
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No we don't know ,but I'm gong to assume that they were , for the sanity that is welcomed,lol I think I have a lil peace knowing that they were in a sonic cleaner,she may have threw them in he bag and grabbed them after that or they were never steamed ,I will never know, but as for now from this point on I will make sure all the instruments are dry and my dentist is so cool ,hes like family,iv been going to him since i have been 19 and this is the first lil scary episode ,so I WILL TAKE IT ! :)
 
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Thank you Matt,for all the advice and Im glad to see your practice is so open and thoughtful towards your clients,thats a rarity! Have a wonderful day and I think my beautiful teeth and I will be just fine ;)
 
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Hello, sometimes the instruments and the pouches remain wet after steam sterilization. And are thereafter left out to dry. The sterilization pouches generally have colour indicators to indicate adequate sterilization.so if the indicator says the pouch and instrument are sterile then you are save.
 
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MattKW

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Hello, sometimes the instruments and the pouches remain wet after steam sterilization. And are thereafter left out to dry. The sterilization pouches generally have colour indicators to indicate adequate sterilization.so if the indicator says the pouch and instrument are sterile then you are save.
This is what we used to do in old days. But modern regulations demand the pouches be dry when removed from autoclave. But hey, look, it's different in different countries, and as long as they get scrubbed and put through an autoclave then it's pretty good for a dental situation.
 

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