Ask the Editors
What are disinfectants that you recommend to be used in the dental office and why do you recommend them?
There are two main techniques available for disinfection – sprays and wipes. Sprays (spray-wipe-spray technique) have been used for many years and are very effective when used properly. However, certain products can discolor surfaces over time and
can cause respiratory issues. Wipes are a more recent innovation and can be easier to use, less allergenic and less irritating to respiratory tissues. However, wipes must be used properly to be effective. That is, the chemical must be in contact with the surface to be disinfected long enough to kill bacteria, viruses, and tuberulin spores. Each product has its own exposure time that must be adhered to. Strict adherence to product instructions is a must.
The chemicals that are all approved as disinfectants are quaternary ammoniums and alcohol, sodium bromide or sodium hypochlorite, tincture of iodine, iodophors, water-or alcohol-based phenolics, or any combination of the above. The newest wipe products that are most effective as antimicrobials and contain tuberculocidal activity contain sodium hypochlorite, phenolics, and hydrogen peroxide.
There are many, many brand names of sprays and wipes available today. THE DENTAL ADVISOR dedicated an issue to disinfectants in March, 2008. For more information, individual products can be compared and researched in that issue.