In April of this year, the CDC reiterated the guidelines and recommendations regarding reprocessing dental handpieces. As many of these instruments can be contaminated with patient material, it is suggested that they be cleaned, and heat sterilized. Dental handpieces are considered medical devices and are regulated by the FDA. The handpieces that are not used in air or waterlines fall under the FDA regulations for reprocessing.
If the handpieces that dental professionals use cannot be heat sterilized, and do not have FDA clearance, the CDC states that the instruments should not be used at all.
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