"With societal pressures driving us all to evaluate individual impact on sustainability, this work has been very timely," said Jeffrey A. Platt, D.D.S., chair of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products. "Up until now, guidance for dental manufacturers on how to communicate about the reusability of burs and instruments has not been well codified or consistently applied. This work takes a big step forward toward improving this situation, ultimately giving ADA members greater clarity and confidence in their decision-making relative to reprocessing or discarding a bur or instrument."
While the authors used diamond instruments for the study, the instructions they developed and validated are not intended for all diamond instruments. However, the study shows manufacturers can follow this process to develop their own validated cleaning instructions, and its findings may be able to be applied to developing instructions for other multi-use instruments.
"This research can be used as a framework to generate reproducible cleaning validation procedures for multi-use dental instruments," said Prerna Gopal, B.D.S., Ph.D., one of the authors and senior manager of microbiology and chemistry for the ADASRI. "It is specifically useful for dental instrument manufacturers, who can use the technical report and the research paper to design well-defined cleaning instructions for their multi-use instruments. However, it may not be cost effective or prudent to go through the effort of rigorously following verified cleaning instructions so that an instrument can be further reprocessed. This is up to the practicing dentist to decide based on their particular circumstances."