WHAT’S A HELIX TEST?
A Helix Test should be used to judge the accuracy of your steam autoclave. The test will measure how effectively the steam in your autoclave penetrates your hollow instruments; and therefore how well it sterilises them. A Helix Test can be carried out with a Helix Test Kit.
WHY THEY’RE ESSENTIAL
A Helix Test should be conducted daily on pre-vacuum sterilisers that process solid or hollow loads on a Class B cycle. This includes many autoclaves, which sterilise a wide variety of hollow instruments throughout the day. A Helix Test will ensure that every cycle you put through your autoclave is 100% sterilised.
Because many dental instruments are both thin and hollow, it’s paramount to make sure that there are no air pockets created in the autoclave chamber. These will prevent the steam from reaching the inside of the longest, thinnest hollow instruments. A Helix Test Kit will tell you whether your autoclaves steam penetration is strong enough, through viewing a chemical indicator.
By carrying out a Helix Test daily on your autoclave, you can rest assured that your Autoclave is meeting standards regarding the sterilisation of instruments.
A Helix Test will also alert you to when your autoclave needs to be serviced or replaced. If you are continually presented with negative test results, it’s a definite sign that your autoclave needs attention.