ADAA View Course

Instrument Composition, Care and Maintenance (AGD 130)

Presenter: Ronda V. Lane, BS, CDA, RDA, FADAA


Fine clothing, jewelry, or dental instruments all require special care to maintain the quality of the product and promote longer life. Although most dental instruments are stainless steel and have outstanding built-in corrosion resistance factors, many new instruments being made will require different handling and cleaning to ensure longevity and resistance to stain and corrosion. This course covers the critical component of cleaning instruments effectively and efficiently, with special attention to the importance of instrument composition in determining the most effective method for cleaning to promote instrument longevity, minimizing corrosion or rust, and staining and scratching. A dental assistant must be knowledgeable regarding what solutions should be used or avoided to preserve instrument integrity and what instruments should never be cleaned together, as well as determining when an instrument can or should be repaired or replaced.


Ronda Lane is a Certified (1979) and Texas Registered Dental Assistant (2004) with 30 years of experience in the dental profession, primarily in oral and maxillofacial surgery. She is a Past President of the Texas Dental Assistants Association (TDAA) in 2004‐2005 and is currently serving as Trustee for the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) 2014‐17 and represents the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. She received her BS in Allied Health Education from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas in 1982. Since 2006, she has taught and continues to teach the TDAA State Board of Dental Examiners approved RDA Course and Exam in Texas and worked as a chairside assistant for Dr. Chris F. Bohmfalk from 1984‐2013. Currently, she teaches dental assisting at Remington College, Fort Worth, TX. She has presented courses to her local, state, and national association. She has a deep desire for knowledge, and continues to devote herself to lifelong education in the field of dental assisting and enhancing the careers of dental assistants toward the highest standards of performance obtainable through quality continuing education. She has had several articles published in dental assisting journals including The Dental Assistant and Inside Dental Assisting, as well as The Bulletin (a TDAA quarterly newsletter).


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Identify characteristics that help determine the composition of dental instruments;
• Identify and differentiate between different types of instrument damage;
• Describe the effects of electrolysis reactions between dissimilar metal of dental instruments;
• Define batch/bind cleaning and the results that can occur when used;
• Identify at least three reasons for the operator to wear PPE while cleaning instruments;
• Describe the general procedures for cleaning implant instruments;
• Identify the advantages of ultrasonic or instrument washer vs. hand scrubbing;
• Identify three advantages of using instrument cassettes;
• Describe how hinged instruments should be cleaned;
• Identify solutions that should be used for ultrasonic cleaning;
• State what cleaning utensils should be used for hand scrubbing instruments if needed;
• Describe the effects of steam sterilization on carbon steel instruments;
• Describe anti‐corrosion measures a dental assistant can employ;
• Describe when a dental instrument should be replaced.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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