ULTRASONIC CLEANING.This process is
safer and more effective than manual scrubbing. The
ultrasonic cleaner eliminates the possibility of
accidental puncture wounds on the hands that
frequently occur with manual scrubbing. It also
eliminates the splatter of organism-laden debris
generated by scrubbing with a brush. The ultrasonic
cleaner uses electrical energy to generate sound waves.
When the sound waves travel through the liquid,
millions of tiny bubbles form and burst continuously.
This process is called a cavitation effect. The
bursting bubbles scrub everywhere the liquid can
penetrate. Intricate surfaces and difficult access areas,
such as burs, endodontic files, serrated instrument
handles, and hinged instruments, are cleaned more
thoroughly and rapidly. The usage life of cutting
instruments, such as burs and endodontic files, is
extended by thoroughly removing debris that
interferes with the cutting surfaces.
There are several sizes of ultrasonic cleaning units.
Figure 10-4 illustrates small and large size ultrasonic
cleaners. The ultrasonic cleaner should be located in
the processing area of the CSR. The manufacturers
instructions must be followed when using ultrasonic
cleaners. These instructions should be posted or
readily available in locations where the units are used.
The following general guidelines are common to
the proper use of all ultrasonic cleaners:
Always keep the ultrasonic cleaner reservoir 1/2
to 3/4s full with ultrasonic solution at all times.
The solution must completely cover the items for
the ultrasonic action to occur.
Avoid the use of disinfectants, plain water, and
nonultrasonic soaps or detergents.
Cleaning solutions must be changed at least
daily or sooner, if visibly contaminated.
When using the ultrasonic cleaner follow these
Place instruments into a perforated or wire mesh
basket and rinse under water first.
Place basket holding the instruments into the
ultrasonic cleaner unit filled with solution.
Never place items directly on the bottom of
tanks. This would reduce the amount of
ultrasonic waves produced and could damage
Always close the lid or cover on the unit when in
use to decrease aerosols and avoid splattering of
the solution onto adjacent surfaces.
Limit ultrasonic cleaning time to 5 minutes to
avoid damage to instruments. Follow
manufacturers instructions for exact cleaning
times for different models.
Longer cleaning times may be required for some
nonmetallic instrument cassettes.
Never use your hand to remove instruments from
the unit. Instead, use the basket to lift the instruments
from the solution, drain, and rinse them under running
water. Be sure to rinse the instruments thoroughly to
remove all the remaining solution.
instruments for remaining blood or debris, then dry
MANUAL SCRUBBING.Although manual
scrubbing is time consuming and presents an increased
potential for contamination injury, this method is
effective for cleaning instruments when automated
washer processors or ultrasonic cleaning units are not
available. Triple-sink modules allow personnel to
perform in an orderly sequence multiple functions
such as prerinsing, soaking, washing, and final rinsing.
While wearing heavy-duty utility gloves, face mask,
plastic apron, and eye protection, place instruments in
Figure 10-4.Small and large size ultrasonic cleaners.