How to Disinfect a Dental Chair

Most dental practitioners or dentists are aware of the need for regular maintenance and disinfection in dental office equipment and tools. However, cleaning the dental chair is an often overlooked – and yet very important – part of routine dental office disinfection procedures.

The dental chair is the one piece of equipment that every single patient who enters the office will use and is designated as a clinical contact surface. Upholstery on the chair is exposed to the spatter of blood, saliva and other body fluids during routine dental care.

According to the CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health Care Settings, dental patients and staff can be exposed to microorganisms such as:

  • Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2
  • HIV
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Staphylococci
  • Streptococci
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Cytomegalovirus

These organisms can be transmitted through direct contact with blood or body fluids, indirect contact with contaminated objects, inhalational contact with airborne microorganisms and contact with droplets propelled into the air by coughing, sneezing or talking.

In addition, the dental chair is even potentially exposed to parasites such as lice or bed bugs. A poor dental office disinfection and cleaning regimen can potentially expose you, your patients and your staff to these diseases. Dental chair maintenance and disinfection in the dental office are crucial responsibilities for the dentist.

According to the CDC guidelines, impervious barriers can be applied to the surface and would minimize the need for disinfection in dental office equipment. If the barrier were to become compromised or contaminated, then the barrier should be replaced. If these barriers are not used, the surface should be cleaned and disinfected between patients.


Dental chair maintenance begins with reading the instructions and cleaning procedures that come with your dental chair. The manual should provide very clear instructions as to the types of cleansers that can be used, how often the chair should be cleaned and procedures for dental chair disinfection.

Once you have identified and purchased the appropriate dental chair maintenance materials, it is important to test it on a small part of the upholstery that is in a discrete place on the chair. Some chemicals or cleansers can damage or ruin the upholstery. For Denshine dental chairs you should only use permitted disinfectants. 

Next, put on the appropriate personnel protective equipment such as gloves, gowns or masks and perform dental chair disinfection and cleaning according to the instructions printed in the manual.

In addition, maintaining for the upholstery on the chair itself, it is important to care for and disinfect the suction system and other attachments on the dental chair. See the instruction manual for specific instructions on how to care for your dental chair.


It is always best to defer to your instruction manual when creating a dental office disinfection schedule. The following example is the dental chair maintenance and hygiene plan for Denshine's ESTETICA E70/E80 Vision Dental Chair.

After each treatment:

  • Rinsing of suction tubes (inside) and suction system
  • Rinsing of instrument tubes (inside) and water supply system
  • Cleaning of suction system
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, instrument tubes and upholstery
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of handles at dentist element and operating light
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of spittoon and filter cover

Every morning:

  • Rinsing of instrument tubes (inside) and water supply system
  • Rinsing of suction tubes (inside) and suction system
  • Cleaning of suction system and spittoon

Every evening:

  • Rinsing of instrument tubes (inside) and water supply system
  • Cleaning of suction tubes (inside), suction system and spittoon
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of suction tubes (outside) and instrument tubes (outside)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of suction hose connectors
  • Control suction filter inserts

Each week or after a long downtime:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting of instrument tubes (inside), water supply system, suction tubes, suction system and spittoon

As needed:

  • Control return air filter of turbine
  • Cleaning or replacing of silicone pads
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of cup filler and cup rest
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of instrument holder
  • Changing of amalgam separator


Dental chair disinfection is a crucial part of the routine maintenance needed in every dental practice. Get in touch with Denshine today to learn more about the innovative line of products  that can help you accomplish this with a minimum of stress.