Why Single-Dose Dental Materials Are So Important in the Age of COVID-19

Why Single-Dose Dental Materials Are So Important in the Age of COVID-19

Following COVID-19, everything will change, from the way you run your practice to what supplies you order. Whether you run a small home clinic or a large conglomeration of dental centers, it's important to consider whether to order cheaper multi-use products or safer single-use items. This blog provides some insight on how to make those decisions.

CDC guidelines provide instructions on how to sterilize and reuse multi-use products and advice on when to switch to disposable dental supplies based on the level of risk and heat tolerance of a particular product.

Classification and How It Impacts Sterilization

There are three levels set for multi-use or multi-purpose products as follows:

  • Critical products come into contact with bone or soft tissue. These instruments require sterilization between uses to prevent cross-contamination and spreading illnesses between patients. Ideally, dental professionals can switch to single-use, disposable options for critical products.
  • Semi-critical products make contact with non-intact skin or mucous membranes inside the mouth. Examples of semi-critical products include mirrors and trays. If you use non-disposable products, it's recommended to switch to materials you can sterilize with high heat.
  • Non-critical products that contact intact skin can be reused with proper sterilization and precautions to avoid cross-contamination between patients.

Why Should You Consider Single-Dose Dental Products?

Single-use products improve safety and decrease the risk of spreading contaminants such as microorganisms from one patient to another. However, single-dose dental products are typically more expensive than multi-use ones.

Here are a few advantages to single-dose dental products that may help you make your ordering decisions:

  • Increased safety: When you order products, they only get used one time, increasing the safety factor for each patient. In fact, it eliminates the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Improved efficiency: Since you only use these products one time, you don't incur the cost of disinfection and sterilization.
  • Easy to use: Single-dose dental products are typically easier to use. You also don't need stainless steel instruments for dispensing them, so you avoid the cost of disinfection.


When it comes to ordering dental products and single- or multi-use sizes, there are many factors that come into play. Many dental offices are prioritizing critical products that come in contact with non-intact skin, switching to single-use products to avoid cross-contamination and infection.

Here are a few points to keep in mind before you place your next order with Smile Dental Supply:
  • If you have heat-sensitive, hard-to-sterilize products that come in contact with the skin inside the mouth, consider switching to single-use products.
  • Single-use products prevent contamination issues with semi-critical and critical products.
  • Consider multi-use products; they can cut costs and increase efficiency for non-critical products.
Contact Smile Dental Supply with any questions you may have regarding multi-use or single-use infection control dental supplies in our inventory.

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