Dental Implant Cleaning & Sterilization

Because dental implants are placed in your jawbone, it is imperative to ensure that while the dentist is introducing the rod below your gumline, they are not introducing bacteria or viruses as well into your healthy tissue. Dental staff take the time to perform a three-step process to ensure that the implants and their attachments are safe. When the dentist ensures that you are getting the best quality materials in the safest condition, they are protecting you and themselves from possible infections. The cleanliness practices start in the dental laboratory where the implants and abutments are made. The technicians there take care to keep them clean while they are being handled. Once the implants and abutments make it to the dentist to be used in your mouth, the dentist has taken care to follow legal regulations as well as hygienic procedures practiced in their office. These regulations and procedures prevent bacteria, viruses and prions from contaminating your otherwise healthy mouth and causing health issues.

Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing Implant Abutments
Before the dentist uses the implants and abutments in your mouth, the dentist will clean, disinfect and sterilize them to ensure you have the best possible experience from your surgery.

Cleaning
The dentist will follow these steps when cleaning the implants and abutments:
1. Using an adequate brush, the dentist will brush the inner and outer side under flowing water.
2. The dentist will use a cleaning solution that does not contain strong organic acids or mineral acids, strong lye, organic solvents, oxidizing agents, halogens, or aromatic, halogenated hydrocarbons. The implant or abutment will be immersed in the solution.
3. The implant and abutment will be rinsed at least three times with water to remove the solution.

Disinfection
1. The dentist will soak the abutment and implant in a disinfectant solution like Johnson & Johnson’s Cidex OPA™ for the required amount of time.
2. The abutment and implants are removed from the solution.
3. They are rinsed at least three times in purified water to remove the solution.
4. The implant and abutment are allowed to air-dry and then immediately packaged. The package material must be suitable for steam sterilization and should be able to protect the items from any damage. It must be a single use package and it can only hold one item per package.

Sterilization
Whether the sterilization happens at the dental laboratory or the dental office, there are recommended procedures to follow.
The abutment or implant may only be sterilized once. If the is a possibility of contamination, the dentist will first clean it, then disinfection it, and finally re-sterilize it.
If the dentist is using a steam sterilizer, it will need to meet the ISO 17665: 2006 or EN 13060 and EN 285 requirements or it will meet the equivalent national standards.

Each and every implant and abutment will go through this process before it is placed in your mouth. The dentist can walk you through any additional processes if you have any additional concerns.