Radiation Awareness

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The ability of radiation to damage DNA and kill cells, increases in actively dividing cells, such as cancer cells. That is, rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, are more prone to radiation damage and are more likely to be killed by it. This is why radiation is used as a cancer therapy (radiotherapy). However, because exposure to radiation is a serious hazard, all staff working in areas where ionizing radiation is a risk, needs to adhere to strict safety regulations. Protective equipment, such as a lead apron, must be worn. Moreover, staff radiation-exposure levels must be monitored using dosimeters. A lead apron is a protective garment worn over the body. In addition, thyroid shields are worn over the neck to provide protection for…show more content…
Common procedures performed by hygienists include scaling and root planing for patients with periodontitis, applying dental sealants, administration of fluoride, and providing instruction for correct oral hygiene and care. Scaling and root planing, also called conventional periodontal therapy, non-surgical periodontal therapy, deep cleaning, or dental prophylaxis, is the process of removing the etiological agents that cause periodontitis. That is, dental plaque and calculus (tartar). Figure 41 shows dental calculus on the posterior surface of the lower incisors. Dental plaque is a pale yellow film that develops on the teeth surfaces. It is mainly made of bacteria, their products, and food debris. At the beginning, dental plaque is very soft and easily removed. However, after forty-eight hours to ten days, the plaque becomes hard and transforms into calculus (Figure 41), which is very difficult to remove. The dental hygienist uses instruments such as periodontal scalers to remove the accumulated plaque and calculus. Applying dental sealants is another job performed by the dental hygienist. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings. They are applied wherever there are grooves on the surfaces of teeth, to prevent bacteria and food debris from accumulating and causing decay. Administration of fluoride, also called fluoride therapy, is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth to prevent dental caries. Mostly fluoride is applied by using gels, toothpastes, and mouth rinses. Fluoride prevents dental caries by the formation of fluorapatite. Fluorapatite is a hard, crystalline mineral with the formula Ca5(PO4)3F. This hard mineral enters the pores of teeth and gets deposited on their surfaces, making them harder and more resistant to

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