Sterilisation and single-use of endodontic files - a short report
INTRODUCTION: In many countries, endodontic files continue to be sterilised and reused in multiple clinical cases as the alternative of single-use of these instruments is avoided due to financial reasons. METHODS: A survey was performed including South African general dental practitioners and specialist prosthodontists to determine the current endodontic file sterilisation methods in place and the adoption rate of single-use protocols of both hand and engine-driven instruments. RESULTS: The majority of respondents (76.6%, n=141/184) indicated autoclaving endodontic files prior to reuse. Almost a quarter of the respondents (23.4%, (n=43/184) used only cold sterilisation. Some respondents (2,8%, n=5/181) indicated not sterilising their files at all. A low number of respondents had adopted the single-use of endodontic hand files (10.9%, n=20/184). Engine-driven files were used only once and discarded by 18.5% (n=34/184) of respondents. CONCLUSION: It appears that, at times, acceptable infection prevention and control practices regarding the sterilisation these instruments are not necessarily being adhered to. The adoption of single-use protocols of endodontic files in a South African dental setting is higher than previously reported.
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