Q: I’ve been told thru the grapevine that instrument cassettes do not have to be packaged before sterilization, is this correct?
A: NO – however there is a provision in the current California regulations (Dental Board Infection Control Regulations section 1005) which allows instruments not to be packaged if used immediately, provided the instruments are protected from contamination, which in most offices this cannot be achieved. I believe that the provision will most likely be eliminated due to the high risk of cross contamination. Keep this in mind – dental board regulations are the very minimum requirements for infection control and patient safety. A dental office with a standard that all patients will receive the highest quality of care at the highest level of safety will do the things that supersede minimum requirements and not take short cuts.