Assistina 3x3: improved safety for the modern dental practice
Excellent hygiene is the hallmark of a well-managed dental practice. Not only are patients demanding the highest standards from the dentist nowadays, strict guidelines in the hygiene sector require compliance with validated cleaning processes and the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies. Florian Gierl, a dentist working in Bad Reichenhall, Germany, has paid close attention to optimised processes for instrument preparation for many years. Working with his practice team, he supported W&H with the development of the new Assistina 3x3 cleaning and maintenance unit. Now Florian Gierl is one of its most enthusiastic users. In an interview he described the most important features of the product.
Mr. Gierl, you have many years of experience as an independent dentist. What developments have you been able to follow in Germany in the field of hygiene and preparation of medical devices over the last five years?
Florian Gierl: The requirements for hygiene in dental practices have increased significantly over the last ten years. The new RKI guidelines in Germany specify stringent requirements, which must be observed. This, of course, demands more of the assistants’ time who are responsible for preparing the instruments for the practice. At the same time, the new guidelines are a significant investment for the individual dental practice.
As a user of the new Assistina 3x3, your practice assisted W&H during the development phase of the unit with your specialist expertise. How did you find the collaboration with W&H?
Florian Gierl: We were involved as a test practice throughout the entire development period and acted as consultants for W&H researchers. It was an exciting process to see how comprehensive and complex the development of a product is. At the same time, we also found it very interesting to be involved in the development process. Our assistants were the primary participants, because, in the final analysis they are the ones who actually perform the hygienic preparation. It was important for us that the unit meets our requirements and can be optimally integrated into our daily work processes.
What were the most important functions of the new W&H product for you and why?
Florian Gierl: In addition to the familiar preparation process with the Assistina 301 plus, it was important for us to have a validated internal preparation procedure, because this was a requirement with the implementation of the new RKI guidelines. It was also important for us to be able to prepare many instruments in one single work cycle and thus to reduce the time required for preparation. This was not possible before. Another function of the Assistina 3x3 is the validated external cleaning process. In comparison with the conventional manual cleaning, this perfectly meets the stringent requirements for hygiene.
How much does your practice team benefit from the implementation of the Assistina 3x3?
Florian Gierl: For the assistants, the installation of the new Assistina translates to significant time savings and also a simplification of their day-to-day work. Another important aspect is of course the safety. The application of a validated process for instrument preparation means that we can offer our patients an optimal level of hygiene.
Does the use of the innovative W&H product give you the feeling that you are sufficiently equipped to meet the hygiene requirements?
Florian Gierl: In my opinion, the Assistina 3x3 is an important link in our hygiene chain. Naturally, at the end of the process our transmission instruments also need to be sterilized, but the Assistina is an important part of the process for achieving a validated and qualified preparation of transmission instruments.
How would you respond to your colleagues if they ask for your opinion of the new Assistina 3x3?
Florian Gierl: I would always advise a colleague to try out this product. In our experience, the whole team benefits from an improved process. The practice improves its safety by working in compliance with the guidelines. None of us knows what diseases our patients have when they come to us, so it is important to be able to guarantee comprehensive protection. I also think that it is important for colleagues that transmission instruments are generally maintained in the new Assistina and that this keeps repair and maintenance costs as low as possible.
What do you consider the future trends for preparation of medical devices in the field of dentistry?
Florian Gierl: I am sure that there will be even more requirements in future. As I mentioned before, the hygiene requirements have increased significantly in recent years, but we will have to expect even more regulations in the future. Smaller practices will probably find it more and more difficult to comply with all the requirements, because this will not only require investment in new technologies, but also qualified employees. In future, there may be companies which specialize in instrument preparation and manage this task for dental practices. However, for now, I think that it is important for every dental practice to have the right equipment and staff for instrument maintenance and preparation.