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Dental Instrument Cleaning

A dental nurse at chairside
Sterile Dental Instruments Bagged
Autoclave Sterliser
Washer disinfector

Infection Control the heart of our surgery!

Windmill Dental Care will always strive to set the highest standards of cleanliness and infection control. To facilitate this we adhere to advice from Scottish Government, Health Protection Scotland and guidance from Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP). If you would like to know any more about our infection control procedures please speak to one of our fully trained team by calling 01698 262698 or drop in to our surgery. We really do care!


Did you know…

The cleaning (decontamination) of dental instruments is a complex multistage process and an important element of infection control.  Each instrument will undergo a process which can take nearly 2 hours to complete!

What are the stages of dental instrument cleaning (decontamination)?

Stage 1- Washer Disinfector  : Stage 2 –Autoclave Sterilisation  : Stage 3- Store Instruments

Stage 1 - The Washer Disinfector:

Once our instruments have been removed from our dental surgeries they are taken to a separate room (LDU) where we can safely clean our equipment. The first stage of instrument cleaning is placing the items such as mirrors and forceps within a Washer Disinfector

  • The purpose of a washer disinfector (which looks like a high tech dishwasher) is to automatically clean and disinfect dental instruments using chemicals and hot water

  • This process will start to remove bugs like coronavirus

  • It  takes about  ~75 minutes for the programme to complete

  • When the programme is finished we check the instruments are clean (under magnification) and then move them to the next stage which is sterilising them in a machine called an Autoclave.

Stage 2 - The Autoclave:

After our instruments have completed the first stage of disinfection (the washer disinfector) they should now be shiny and clean!  We now need to sterilise them to kill of any remaining bugs. To do this we place them in an oven like machine called an Autoclave

  • The autoclave kills off any bugs including bacteria, fungi, prions and viruses (including coronavirus) by heating them to over 137oC!

  • It takes about ~35 minutes for the programme to complete

  • Like the washer disinfector, the autoclaves are tested, verified and maintained on a regular basis both from within and from external companies.

Stage 3 - Storing Instruments:

When the autoclave programme is finished we check the instruments for the final time and safely store them in bags and trays to keep them clean. They are then transported to the dental surgeries ready for use.

Call today for further information on infection control at

Windmill Dental Care on 01698 262698.  We are here to help!

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