Dental Implant Cleaning & Sterilization
Dental implants are an excellent solution commonly used for the replacement of missing or extremely damaged teeth. Dental implants contain three main components. The first component is the implant itself which is similar to a screw. The implant, which is typically made of titanium, is surgically placed in the jawbone. As it heals, it will fuse to the jawbone. The second component is the abutment which is screwed on top of the implant and connects the third component, the crown. The crown is the white tooth-like portion of the implant which gives it a natural appearance.
It is very important to effectively clean and disinfect implant abutments. In certain clinical settings, the abutment should also be sterilized. In order to avoid liability, it is critical to carefully follow all procedural instructions. Effective procedures for cleaning and disinfecting the implant abutments are essential for complete sterilization. Before they are sterilized, the implant abutments should always be kept clean when they are being handled in a dental laboratory setting. Any and all legal regulations which are valid for the local area should be closely followed in addition to the dental practice’s hygienic procedures.
This article will review the standard procedures which should be followed when cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing implant abutments.
When cleaning an implant abutment, the following three steps should be closely following:
- The abutment should be rinsed under flowing water while brushing the inner and outer sides with a brush
- The abutment should be immersed in a cleaning solution such as Johnson & Johnson. The following ingredients should be included in the cleaning agent or disinfectant: strong organic acids or mineral acids, strong lye, organic solvents such as acetone, ether, hexane, benzin, oxidizing agents or peroxide, halogens which can include chlorine, iodine, bromine, and aromatic, halogenated hydrocarbons
- Rinse the implant abutment three times or more using water
To properly disinfect implant abutments, a high-level disinfectant like Cidex OPA™ from Johnson & Johnson should be used. The following are steps required for proper disinfection of an abutment:
- Soak the abutment in disinfectant solution for the recommended time
- Remove the implant abutment from the disinfectant solution
- Rinse the abutment three times or more using highly purified water
- Immediately air-dry and package the implant abutment
When packaging in a dental laboratory, the cleaned and disinfected implant abutment should be placed in a single-use sterilization package. The package needs to fulfill the following requirements and each package should contain just one implant abutment.
- All regulatory requirements must be followed which may include EN ISO/ANSI AAMI ISO 11607
- Packaging should allow for steam sterilization
- Packaging should protect the implant abutment from any type of mechanical damage
In cases where a sterilization device is not available at the laboratory, sterilization should occur at the dental office. The recommended procedures for the sterilization of implant abutments should be closely followed. An implant abutment should only be sterilized once. In the event of unintentional contamination, it may be re-sterilized a single time following cleaning and disinfection.
For stream sterilization, following requirements should be followed:
- Fractionated vacuum or gravity procedures, in addition to adequate product drying
- Steam sterilizer must fulfill applicable standard requirements such as ISO 17665: 2006 or EN 13060 and EN 285