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Why Is Glutaraldehyde Not Suitable for General Dental Practice?

Posted on 1/2/2024 by Weo Admin
Dentist explaining why glutaraldehyde isn't ideal.Within the dental circles, you have most likely heard the term glutaraldehyde, popularly called the cold sterile. Dentists have used the cold sterile or glutaraldehyde for many years, but it has recently become a significant concern.

What Is Glutaraldehyde?

Glutaraldehyde is a chemical that dentists have used for decades as a disinfectant and treatment in various tooth preparations. Notably, glutaraldehyde can successfully disinfect a tooth when used for a prescribed amount of time.

Glutaraldehyde is also a chemical that dentists use as a major component of dentin because of its ability to work as a coagulant of collagen. When a dentist applies this chemical to the tooth, glutaraldehyde coagulates the collagen. The result of that coagulation of the collagen is the closing of thousands of dental canals in the tooth. When the dental canals close, the ability of the dentin to transmit pain stimuli to the pulp is significantly reduced.

The Good Side of Glutaraldehyde

Glutaraldehyde was a go-to sterilant for several years. Its strength resulted in its classification as a high-level disinfectant, and it could kill all types of microbes except bacterial spores. The only condition associated with using glutaraldehyde is that a dentist needs to use it properly as directed by the manufacturers.

Why Is Glutaraldehyde Unsuitable for General Dental Practice?

In recent years, glutaraldehyde has been associated with adverse effects on health. For example, its use has been known to cause breathing issues, asthma, skin rashes, and respiratory irritation. If you also use glutaraldehyde indiscriminately, you are bound to experience soft-tissue irritation. The adverse reaction can also result in skin lesions that can result in aphthous ulcers.

Healthcare workers are not safe from the adverse effects of glutaraldehyde. There is significant evidence that working in environments where they have to use glutaraldehyde results in bronchial hyper-responsiveness and asthma just by inhaling the glutaraldehyde vapor.

The various criticisms of using glutaraldehyde far outweigh the identified benefits. It is important to note that these criticisms are also valid, and you must exercise caution because it is better to stay safe than sorry. Contact our dental offices today if you have concerns about your dental health.

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