As a dentist, dental hygienist, or support staff at a dental clinic, you know that having a reliable, effective autoclave is essential to the smooth operation of the clinic. Also called a steam sterilizer, the autoclave is the machine that harnesses the power of high temperature and high-pressure steam in order to sterilize germs on dental equipment, such as forceps, intended for reuse, thus ensuring its safety for the next patient.

How to Choose the Right Autoclave for your Dental Clinic?

If you’re looking to buy a new autoclave for your dental practice, what questions should you consider as part of this important purchase? In this blog post, we will take a look at five general questions to start the discussion, and then we’ll look at three possible responses to why you are buying a new autoclave, found in the flowchart below. The questions and answers we provide here will help you make an informed decision.

Six General Questions to Start the Discussion​:

Is the autoclave manufacturer ​a well-known provider with many years of success and experience in the field?

The manufacturer you are looking to buy your autoclave from should have a good name and reputation, and FDA-approved autoclaves. If you don’t have a machine that is safe it could be extremely dangerous for you, your staff and your patients.

Will the distributor you deal with give you all the options for buying an autoclave or just push the one he wants to sell on you?

Doing your own research on what is out there is always a good idea. This will ensure you know about the products and can talk to your distributor representative about what you prefer.

Does the manufacturer offer the type of autoclave and features you need?

The manufacturer you are looking to buy your autoclave from should have a good name and reputation, and FDA-approved autoclaves. If you don’t have a machine that is safe it could be extremely dangerous for you, your staff and your patients.

What is the volume of items that needs to be sterilized?

Has the volume of items sterilized increased? The volume of items that needs to be sterilized will determine the size of your autoclave. An experienced distributor can recommend the ideal autoclave according to chamber size.

Which autoclave delivers the best reliability for your investment?

Things to look for: What is the warranty? How does service work? Is the sales rep available if you have any questions about using the machine?

Is the autoclave you are considering purchasing easy to operate?

You have a busy practice. Can you set the autoclave and come back to find the instruments sterile and completely dry, ready to use or do you have to constantly monitor the unit?

Now let’s take a look at a flow chart of the most commonly asked questions related to why you need a new sterilizer.

As you can see from our flow chart, there are many questions and angles to consider. Replacing a broken autoclave, buying a new autoclave, or adding another autoclave requires research, forethought, and planning. We hope that this post helps you begin the autoclave purchase process, and we wish you continued successful sterilization for a smoothly operating dental clinic.

Your questions and comments are welcome below in the Comments section.