(11) HIV infection. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, or AIDS as
it was originally called, causes death by destroying the patient's immune system. More
simply, the patient dies from an infection because the body's defense system does not
work. This virus is very difficult to transmit from one person to another. A dental care
provider cannot contract an HIV infection through daily contact at the workplace. The HIV
infection enters the bloodstream by having sex with an infected person or by shooting
drugs with a needle or syringe that has been used by an infected person. If you work on
an HIV positive patient, the patient is many more times at risk than you are. The reason
is the patient's immune system cannot easily control new and different infections. It is
important, then, to have extremely strict aseptic procedures before, during, and after
patient care. This reduces the risk to the HIV patient and the possibility of risk to other
patients and the dental care providers.
1-14. RADIOGRAPHS (X-RAYS)
a. General. Radiographs are indispensable aids in diagnosing many conditions
existing within the teeth, bone, or tissues that are not apparent on clinical examination.
Information revealed by radiographs includes the following:
Infection and abscesses within the bone and about the roots of the teeth.
Size and shape of roots of teeth to be extracted.
Carious lesions that cannot be detected in other ways.
Condition of the periodontal bone.
(5) Condition of teeth and bone that have been considered for the support of
fixed or removable prosthodontic appliances.
Presence of impacted teeth, supernumerary teeth, or retained roots.
b. Recording Radiographic Findings. Radiographs are usually completely
processed before they are interpreted. This often takes place after the examination. If
emergency treatment is indicated, the dental officer may request a "wet reading." At such
times, the radiographs are processed enough to obtain suitable image for interpretation
and diagnosis and remain attached to the radiograph hanger. Radiographs that have
been completely processed and mounted are interpreted by the dental officer when he is
not engaged in examination or treatment procedures. The dental specialist must see that
the radiographs are properly mounted and available for the dental officer for interpretation
and must be able to record radiographic findings on dental health records. Radiographs
should be kept in the dental health record until they are no longer needed.