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Sterilization and Sterilization Monitoring

Sterilization and sterilization monitoring are critical steps in the chain of instrument processing. Learn from real-life scenarios in this continuing education article.


Course Overview

CE Credits
Months to Access Course
Hours to Complete
Post-Course Assessment Questions

The proper processing of dental instruments is one of the most important duties in the dental office. Sterilization and sterilization monitoring are two steps in the chain of instrument processing that are imperative to establishing a high-quality infection prevention and control program.

Explore two real-world scenarios focused on sterilization and sterilization monitoring, along with strategies and recommendations to prevent negative outcomes. You’ll learn about the methods of sterilization and steps for sterilization monitoring, as well as be able to describe and identify sterilization failures. Plus, you’ll receive links to helpful instrument processing resources.

This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) through joint efforts between the DALE Foundation and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP).

Course Credentials

October 2022
Next Review:
October 2025

Course Compatibility

Desktop, laptop and tablet

AGD Code: 148

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define the three methods of sterilization monitoring
  • Describe the advantages and precautions for each sterilization method
  • Refer to recommendations from the CDC regarding sterilization of patient-care items
  • Describe what can cause sterilization failure
  • Explain the importance of having standard operating procedures and manufacturer instructions for instrument/equipment processing available for instrument processing personnel

Subject Matter Experts

The material featured in this course was developed in support of the OSAP-DANB-DALE Foundation Collaboration or originally published in Infection Control In Practice Team Huddle™, a resource for clinicians from OSAP to help build a framework for the Safest Dental Visit™. OSAP has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


The DALE Foundation is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education, ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at


The DALE Foundation is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 9/1/2021 to 8/31/2024. Provider ID# 355127