InPractice: The Goetze Dental Blog

Dental Equipment Preventative Maintenance: Sterilization (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by David Brunker - VP of Service on Oct 23, 2019 8:28:00 AM


When it comes to dental equipment, preventative maintenance is a must. Equipment must be properly cared for to keep instruments working at peak performance for as long as possible, but also you—as the health care provider—and your patient must be kept safe from infection. Through preventative maintenance tasks daily, weekly, monthly and annually, your dental practice lessens the chances of unexpected equipment failures resulting in downtime, as well as more importantly, safety concerns. 


As you know, managing a dental office and the necessary dental equipment maintenance tasks is often overwhelming. Our goal here is to simplify things in a short three-part blog series covering dental equipment preventative maintenance specific to sterilization, operatory, medical gas and IT tasks. 


Photo Cred: MidMark, QuickClean Ultrasonic Cleaner QC3 and QC3R

First up: Sterilization.

Does your process have a well-outlined document outlining all tasks associated with sterilization? With patients coming and going and the business of the day, it is important that these are clearly visible and imperative they are performed well to minimize contamination and infection. Review these tasks with your team often, and make sure to revise them as necessary. In doing so, you will find they become second nature. 






  • Flush waterlines on delivery units with preferred treatment solution for a minimum of two minutes 
  • Top off water supply in sterilizers and self-contained water systems 
  • Empty waste water bottle from tabletop sterilizer, if applicable 
  • Fill ultrasonic cleaner with fresh solution 
  • Check cleaner/lubricant levels on handpiece maintenance machine

Throughout the day, between EACH patient

  • Flush waterlines on delivery units for a minimum of 30 seconds
  • Sterilize and lubricate handpieces and instruments 
  • Disinfect surfaces with preferred disinfectant per instructions (Do not spray directly on equipment)

End of day

  • Flush vacuum lines with vacuum system cleaning solution 
  • Remove and empty water bottles, leave upside down to dry overnight 
  • Drain ultrasonic cleaner, ensure drain is not obstructed 
  • Clean and disinfect all contaminated surfaces and equipment
  • Run sterilizer cycle with spore test 
  • Remove racks and trays from chamber sterilizer, wipe interior with cloth or Scotchbrite pad, replace gasket if worn 
  • Drain and replace water on chamber autoclave (recycling models only) 
  • Clean cassette with Scotchbrite pad, lubricate seal with Stat-Dri (Statim Models) 
  • Inspect o-rings on handpiece cleaner adapters and replace oil collection pad 
  • Clean interior of ultrasonic cleaner tank
  • Clean sterilizer chamber with manufacturer specified cleaning solution (Speed-Clean, Omni-Cleaner, Chamber Brite, etc.) 
  • Inspect and clean sterilizer seal, replace if necessary 
  • Wipe surfaces with mild soapy solution to remove surface disinfectant residue 


Looking for a comprehensive guide to sterilization and  infection control? The American Dental Association has lots of resources. 


We Can Help!

Even with preventative maintenance, dental equipment and technology malfunctions. And, it usually happens at the most inconvenient time.  Just a few hours of lost productivity can cost you thousands in lost production.

Goetze Dental’s Service Team is committed to providing the solutions you need to keep your equipment & technology functioning. Call 800-692-0804 and choose option 5 to schedule an appointment. Or click here to request service call online. 


Topics: dental office equipment, dental equipment, dental practice management