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Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items in Oral Healthcare Settings

Course Number: 474

Low-temperature Sterilization

Low-temperature sterilization with ethylene oxide gas (ETO) is used extensively in larger health-care facilities. Its primary advantage is the ability to sterilize heat- and moisture-sensitive patient-care items with reduced deleterious effects. However, extended sterilization times of 10-48 hours and potential hazards to patients and oral healthcare personnel (OHCP) requiring stringent health and safety precautions make this method impractical for private-practice settings.2,3