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Operator Protection

Pathogens and debris such as calculus, tooth fragments, and prophy paste are aerosolized during dental procedures. Irrigating the oral cavity with a 0.12% chlorhexidine solution before dental scaling decreases bacterial aerosolization.8

The safety of the operator must be ensured during dental procedures by using radiographic, oral, respiratory, skin, eye, and ear protective devices (Table 4, Page 10). Ergonomic considerations include proper seating, fatigue mats for standing, and proper positioning of both the patient and materials to minimize immediate and chronic operator injuries. Provide the operator with instruction on proper instrument handling techniques.

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