The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a statement to provide oral health care professionals with clear and consistent guidelines on the best way to reprocess dental handpieces. The full statement, available on the CDC’s website, explains “CDC guidelines for infection prevention state that, between patients, dental health care personnel (DHCP) should clean and heat-sterilize handpieces and other intraoral instruments that can be removed from the air- and waterlines of dental units.”
According to the CDC, the recommendation is based on studies that have shown that the internal components of air-driven handpieces, both low speed and high speed, can become contaminated with patient material during use. This material can then be expelled into the mouth of other patients during subsequent uses.
For handpieces and other intraoral instruments that can be removed from the air- and waterlines of dental units, the CDC maintains the recommendation that DHCP follows guidelines to clean and heat sterilize