Autoclaves are practical, effective machines that play a crucial role in medical establishments, hospitals and practices where there is an ongoing need for complete, thorough sterilization of the materials used.
All of the rules for sterilization and the protection of medical staff under Italian law are set out by Legislative Decree 81/2008 (as amended), which establishes the guidelines for collective prevention against potential pathogenic agents, including with regard to autoclaves.
Autoclaves are at the forefront of the checking process, so routine servicing and one-off maintenance work must be carried out properly and on a regular basis to ensure that they are operating correctly at all times.
Due to the huge amount of work that they do every day, dental autoclaves are subject to significant wear and tear, so the entire machines or some of their parts are more likely to become so inefficient because of the deterioration that they need to be replaced.
Disposal of dental autoclaves must take place in accordance with an established procedure. They must be destroyed if they are no longer operational because of excessive damage or wear and tear. However, in some cases it is possible to fully or partially recycle an autoclave and salvage working parts of the expensive machine.
Some efficient parts of an autoclave can be removed by qualified technicians and fitted to replace broken or missing parts in other machines.
Sometimes, whole autoclaves can be recycled thanks to specialist workshops for electronic medical equipment that refurbish dental autoclaves, leaving them fully operational and as good as new. There are a number of special steps in the process:
- Technical assistance for mechanical parts.
- Repair and installation of any malfunctioning parts.
- Replacement of worn sections.
The big advantage of recycled autoclaves is that they go on the market at inexpensive, accessible prices but they are fully functional and efficient. Indeed, they tend to come with a one-year guarantee from the company responsible for refurbishing them.
In addition, technical support for refurbished autoclaves can be provided either in a dental practice or on the premises of a specialist company. Recycled autoclaves must undergo safety testing in order to ensure that they are operating as new.
Companies that fully or partially recycle autoclaves provide a constant support service with high-quality technical assistance (even on non-working days) for anyone who has bought a refurbished autoclave or recycled parts.
With the aid of a specialist dental machinery and equipment technician, practices should establish whether it is necessary to replace a whole autoclave or whether it can be refurbished by simply repairing one or more parts.
In some cases, it may be more expedient to replace the whole machine and sell the old one to a company that can refurbish it or recycle some of the parts.
It should be noted that recycled and refurbished dental autoclaves are just as effective as new ones at sterilizing and decontaminating dental instruments, while they offer substantial savings compared to buying a new autoclave or recycling one of its parts.