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Disinfection of Impression Materials
By: Oroclean Chemi AG
Because they are applied directly in the mouth, impression materials are heavily contaminated with blood and saliva. A disinfec¬tant for impression materials must have high cleaning power and at the same time it must guarantee the form stability of the impressions. New products make it possible to have a powerful yet gentle treatment.

Impression materials– source of infection

Bodily fluids such as saliva and blood often attach to impressions, moldings, and dental components that enter the oral cavity of the patient. This can lead to a massive spread of germs in the treatment area and put the dentist as well as the entire practice at risk. Working with these impressions would furthermore be a high risk of infection for the dental technicians or dental assistants in the laboratory.
  1. These contaminated objects must therefore be immediately disinfected and cleaned after they are removed from the mouth of the patient.
  2. Who is responsible for the treatment?

The treatment of impression and molding materials is a special procedure that also involves dental technicians, the laboratory, or a third party (e.g., transporter).2 The “initiator principle” can be applied here. The initiator must implement all actions so that further spreading of microorganisms is impossible or highly unlikely. If an impression or a dental tool leaves the practice, the dentist is responsible for its disinfection. However, the receiver must also know the correct procedures. Therefore, unambiguous communication is extremely important.

Which products are suitable for the disinfection of impressions?

There are strict requirements for disinfectants for impressions, impression trays, or dental components. Due to high levels of organic contamination as well as the special characteristics of the materials, there is a serious risk of damage to the objects. The newest product developments are based on quaternary ammonia compounds. Such products are very fast-acting and are non-allergenic. Furthermore, such disinfectants are very gentle on materials and prevent discolorations.Special disinfectants for impressions and dental components must have the following characteristics:
•    The product must be suitable for as many different material types as possible, including impressions, impression trays, wax-ups, dental components, and prosthetic materials. This makes the procedure much easier and is also a financially sound decision, as fewer different types of disinfectant are required.

•    The product must be compatible with as many different materials as possible such as alginate, silicon, polyether rubber, polysulfide, or hydrocolloids.
•    The disinfectant may not influence the material properties of the impressions and may not cause any fitting or quality problems of the product or component.
•    The product must be effective against organic contamination. The product must not lose any effectiveness if it comes into contact with gypsum.
•    The product must have good cleaning qualities. Traces of blood and proteins remain attached to the impression materials regardless of rinsing before disinfection.
•    The product must be aldehyde-free. Aldehydes can have an adverse reaction when  in contact with blood and proteins and can cause a black discoloration of the impressions.
•    The product must be as fast-acting as possible. If there is a long contact time of 5 minutes or more, there is a serious risk of loss of form stability.
•    Disinfectants for impression materials must be effective against bacteria, fungi, tuberculosis, HBV, HCV, and HIV.
•    Disinfectants for impression materials should also be usable in conjunction with ultrasonic devices. This raises the efficiency when dealing with coarse contaminations.
•    A concentrate should be used, if possible. Besides the financial advantage, there is also the advantage of a considerably lower stress to the disinfected object, as the working solution is less aggressive. Alternatively, one can use specially made working solutions for spray disinfection.1

Clearly, the ideal disinfectant for impression materials must fulfill a range of requirements. Only a few products can be wholeheartedly recommended. PROSEPT® Impression from Hygiene360 corresponds to the most current technological standards.