Dental Lab Procedures

A. Impressions

Dental laboratory technicians have a high risk of infection by direct exposure to contaminated laboratory materials. All impressions, bite registrations or other items placed in the patient’s mouth should be disinfected before sending them to the lab or utilizing the Department’s lab.

Impression trays should be cleaned and heat sterilized for the patient’s safety. The impression should be disinfected for the operator’s and lab technician’s safety. Refer to Appendix E.

After the impression is made, rinse it in water to remove blood and saliva and shake gently to remove excess water. Spray the impression with a disinfectant until it glistens and place into a zip-lock bag or immerse in a disinfectant for 10 minutes, depending on the type of impression material. Rinse the impression thoroughly and pour up the model. Be sure to use fresh disinfectant for each impression.

If the impression is sent to the lab, follow the above procedure and after rinsing, repackage in a zip-lock bag. Label the box that the impression has been treated.

B. Prosthesis

A removable prosthesis that has been in a patient’s mouth should be rinsed and disinfected before sending it to a lab.

A nonmetal prosthesis can be soaked in household bleach diluted 1:100 for 10 minutes and rinsed thoroughly. Bleach must be mixed fresh daily because it oxidizes quickly. The prosthesis should then be placed in a zip-lock bag for shipment.

Glutaraldehyde and phenols can be used on non-acrylic metal items as long as they are sufficiently rinsed before returning them to the patient. The recommended disinfecting time is usually 10 minutes.

Iodophors can be used on all materials.

C. Use of Lathe

Protective barriers must always be worn when working with a lathe. Never use a polishing lathe, rag wheel , brushes or pumice in the laboratory without first disinfecting the appliance. Rag wheels can be heat sterilized.

The following is a suggested method on handling the pumice pan.

1. Line the pumice pan with plastic wrap.

2. Use fresh pumice per patient procedure.

3. Use sterilized rag wheel.

4. Disinfect the prosthesis as necessary (Refer to Appendix E).

5. Discard plastic, pumice and change rag wheel.