continued from pg. 78
information concerning radiation dosage
and the need for lead shielding. Kyle Steck,
a regional manager with Henry Schein,
Inc., provided some useful information
(see Table 1 for interesting information on
According to the World Nuclear Association, annual exposure to 100 mSv
or greater carries a measurable, though
small, increase in cancer risk. Below that
level, it’s believed that your body’s cells
are able to heal themselves from radiation. Table 2 shows dental radiographs
measured in microsieverts. Microsieverts
are 1000 times smaller than millisieverts.
Of course, a millisievert is 1/1000th of a
Many states have their own rules concerning shielding. For example, in a publication titled Radiation Safety In Dental
Practice that was published in December
2013 by the California Dental Association,
it is stated: “Lead-impregnated leather or
vinyl aprons must be used to cover the reproductive organs of all patients who undergo dental X-ray examinations” (www.
The National Council on Radiation
Protection & Measurements (NCRP) pub-
lished a guideline for radiation protection
in dentistry in 2003 titled “NCRP Report
No. 145: New Dental X-ray Guidelines: Their
Potential Impact on Your Dental Practice.”
This report stirred considerable contro-
versy with this statement: “The use of
leaded aprons on patients shall not be
required if all other recommendations in
this report are rigorously followed.”
This statement came from the ADA:
“The amount of scattered radiation strik-
ing the patient’s abdomen during a prop-
erly conducted radiographic examination
is negligible. The thyroid gland is more
susceptible to radiation exposure during
dental radiographic exams given its ana-
tomic position, particularly in children.
Protective thyroid collars and collimation
substantially reduce radiation exposure
continued from pg. 73
body may be more enhanced as well, such
as the nose and gut. The fungiform stand
out when the tongue is stained with basic
blue food coloring (see Figure 2). The food
color stains the filiform papillae, making
the fungiform appear prominent. A test
using a certain diameter hole punch is
placed over the tongue and the numbers
of fungiform are counted (see Figure 3).
Researchers believe that both the number
and the density of the fungiform are factors in the high intensity of taste in supertasters.
So, other than disease protection and
susceptibility, why does it matter wheth-
er we study genes related to taste at all?
Benson et al. (2012) sums up the impor-
tance of gene research nicely: “It matters
because new knowledge about the mo-
lecular basis of food likes and dislikes in
children, known to be a generation that
will struggle with obesity and diabetes,
may suggest strategies to overcome diet-
Could you or your patient be a super-
As always, keep asking good questions
and listen to your patients! RDH
continued from pg. 76
realities as they present themselves
rather than the energy drain that goes
with dwelling on potential problems.
None of us facing serious health issues
would wish that on anyone we love; however, abundant life is possible even with
such a diagnosis. David Sandlin is a story
of hope. I am humbled by his strength and
his attitude and remain grateful to walk
this journey by his side. RDH
KAREN DAVIS, RDH, BSDH, is the founder of Cutting Edge Concepts, an international continuing education company, and practices dental
hygiene in Dallas, Texas. She is an independent
consultant to the Philips Corp., Periosciences,
Inc., and Interleukin Genetics. She can be
reached at Karen@Karendavis.net.
spit out any excess. They can also spit into
the bib before it’s thrown away.
Nancy Brohawn, a hygiene friend from
Delaware, offered these tips for any sticky
varnish residue that might get on the pa-
tient’s face and lips. “I use Lubricoat by
DUX that is a dream for removing this. For
sticky hands, I use a squirt of hand sani-
tizer with alcohol that takes it right off.”
Anyone interested in debating fluo-
ride choices with an employer might ask
this question: Which is more important:
the increased efficacy of varnish, plus the
greater acceptance and comfort of pa-
tients, plus the savings in time and labor
for the hygienist; or finding the cheap-
est gel/foam/rinse price and getting the
cheapest product? RDH
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