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A 48-year-old member asked:

Do dentists sterilize those suction hoses in their offices?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anna Guarna
Dentistry 36 years experience
Yes: All equipment in the dental office is either disposable or sterilized. The suction tips (that go directly in the mouth) are disposable. The internal portion of the hose is cleaned with a solution that is "sucked" through. The outer portion is sterilized with the same room sterilant as the other equipment.
Dr. Mark Bornfeld
Dentistry 46 years experience
No, but...: The plastic tips used in saliva ejectors and high-volume evacuators are single-use disposable items, and sterilization is not required to prevent cross-infection. It is customary to clean the flexible tubes that connect to the disposable tips with a high-level surface disinfectant and use disposable polyethylene barrier sleeves on their working ends. This is sufficient to prevent infection.
Dr. Richard Rosen
Dentistry 41 years experience
Disinfection is run hru the lines but the actual plastic that is used in your mouth are new plastic tips
Mar 19, 2013
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
Yes: Disposable suction tips, the part that goes in your mouth. Surface disinfectant through the hose. Surface disinfectant to wipe the outside of the hose. All in all much cleaner than the drain in your bathroom sink.
Dr. Allan Hawryluk
Dentistry 20 years experience
Yes: The 'hoses' are cleaned by sterilizing solutions which are run through the lines. The suction tips are all disposable.
Dr. James Anderson
Dentistry 20 years experience
Plastic disposibles: The tips that enter patients mouths are usually disposable plastics that are used for one patient only. Some offices will use metal parts that are sterilized. The suction hoses are cleaned with cleaning solution regularly, but are not and cannot be sterilized from the inside out. The outside are usually wiped with prescription strength medicines that kill 99.9% of germs after each patient.

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Last updated Sep 10, 2016
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