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31 Jul 2014 | Auxiliary

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Griffith University streamlines handpiece reprocessing with new 3x3

Infection Control

Griffith University at Southport on the Gold Coast has upgraded its new dental teaching facility with seven of the latest state-of-the-art W&H Assistina 3x3 handpiece maintenance units.

Griffith University fulfils a vital role in supporting Oral Health Therapists and dental students at Griffith's Parklands Campus in Queensland.

Griffith University Dental Assistants' Team Leader, Tash Pasfield, said literally hundreds of handpieces were processed per shift to keep up with demand from Griffith's public patient and student dental clinics.

Griffith was one of the first organisations in Australia to take delivery of the new Assistina 3X3 model, which is the only unit to offer a validated three-step process of internal and external cleaning and lubrication in a single cycle.

Each Assistina 3X3 unit can clean and lubricate up to three handpieces in just 6.5 minutes, making it much faster than earlier units. Special adapters fit turbines, straight and contra-angle handpieces, air motors and air-driven scalers, which can be cleaned together in the one unit.

Ms Pasfield said the new Assistina 3X3's were very easy and intuitive to operate with a simple icon-based push button interface. The unit flashes green during each cycle and has a "door open" light and warning lights indicating low cleaning and lubricating fluid levels.

The special W&H ActiveFluid cleaning solution and W&H's patented F1 Service Oil is contained in convenient self-contained cartridges at the base of the Assistina 3X3 unit and last for hundreds of cycles. This system is far quicker, more effective and more economical than manual handpiece cleaning and maintenance using pressurised spray cans of cleaning solution and lubricant.

The Assistina 3X3 replaces the earlier W&H Assistina 301 Plus and offers the advantage of a valildated process for full internal and external cleaning and also lubrication of multiple dental handpieces, turbines, air-driven scalers and electric motors.

When fully deployed, Griffith's fleet of seven Assistina 3X3 units can process 21 handpieces at a time, greatly streamlining throughput in the busy sterilisation room, which includes six Lisa fully automatic B Class bench-top sterilisers and two hospital-sized sterilisers. The Assistina 3x3's validation of cleaning effectiveness is proven from a validation report by Wasser Hygiene Unwelt - an independent and accredited test authority based in Europe. The soiling applied to the test handpiece was a protein count of 187µg - 750µg per tested part. The maximum soiling recovered post-cycle corresponded to less than 4µg per tested part. The validation report is available from www.wh.com.

W&H Territory Manager - Australia and New Zealand, Chris Jobson, said the Assistina 3X3 had distinct advantages over thermo-washer disinfectors in relation to both throughput and costs.

"Thermo disinfectors are expensive pieces of equipment and have a relatively low volume throughput per cycle when it comes to accommodating handpieces. This would have made total reliance on thermo-washer disinfectors unsuitable in such a busy environment as Griffith University because of the sheer volume of handpieces reprocessed on a daily basis."

On the other hand, the new Assistina 3X3 is perfectly suited to this task as three instruments can be fully cleaned and lubricated in just 6 minutes and 30 seconds using a process validated to the ISO EN 158831 standard for performing the test soiling and test methods.


  1. ISO EN 15883 applies to and is drafted for cleaning units and disinfectors (thermo washer disinfectors). As there are no standards relating to the contamination of turbines, straight and contra angle handpieces, W&H has decided to use this standard as the basis for performing the test soiling and test methods for testing the Assistina 3x3/3x2).

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