Chemical and biological indicators of the efficacy of sterilization by wet or dry heat

  • Aline Rogéria Freire de Castilho Universidade do Sagrado Coração
  • Eduarda Gimenes Corrêa
  • Cássio Vicente Pereira
Keywords: Sterilization, chemical indicator, biological indicator, biosafety, infection control


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of sterilization by wet or dry heat in dental offices using chemical and biological indicators. Methods: Fifty-one sterilizers were analyzed using an internal (ComplyTM tape, 3M) and an external chemical indicator (adhesive tape 1222, 3M) and a biological indicator (Attest 1262, 3M) for wet heat, and an internal (ComplyTM 00311 tape, 3M) and an external chemical indicator (Indair 1226 tape, 3M) for dry heat. Different indicators (centrally positioned) were used at the same time in each device. Results: Thirty-seven (72.5%) dentists used wet heat sterilization systems in their dental offices and 14 (27.4%) used dry heat sterilizers. External chemical indicators for wet heat systems were successful, but internal chemical indicators and biological indicators had 94.5% and 97.2% of success, respectively. In addition, external chemical indicators were satisfactory concerning all dry heat devices, but internal chemical indicators had only 78.5% of efficiency. Conclusion: Wet heat and dry heat are reliable sterilization systems; notwithstanding, different indicators should be simultaneously used to certify that sterilization has been successfully carried out.

Author Biography

Aline Rogéria Freire de Castilho, Universidade do Sagrado Coração
Departamento de Ciência Biológicas e Profissões da Saúde
Original Article