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Students who successfully complete the
KDM Dental Assisting program are eligible
to write the National Dental Assisting
Examining Board Examination.

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Preparatory Exam

The following sample review is designed to provide potential examination candidates with the opportunity to test their knowledge using typical examination questions. The sample review includes a selection of questions from each category of study. Five comprehensive reviews consisting of 120 questions each are available.

These questions are intended to assist the candidate in building their level of preparedness and does not guarantee success on examinations.

Conduct Appropriate to a Professional Setting
Dental Health Education
Dental Sciences
Clinical Care Procedures
Client Care Procedures
Practice Management Procedures
Laboratory Procedures
Intra Oral Procedures

Question 1:
Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals cause malformations in the developing structures of teeth. The vitamin/mineral group/s most associated with deficiency malformation in teeth is/are ______________.

  1. iron, sodium, vitamin C, vitamin D
  2. calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C
  3. phosphorus, vitamin D
  4. vitamin A, vitamin K
  5. magnesium
a) 1 b) 2, 3 c) 4, 5 d) 3, 4 e) 2, 3, 5


Question 2:
The dental health educator is participating in an open forum at a rural community hall during dental health week. The educator taking part must be experienced in all facets of oral care, be aware of regional issues, and be prepared to answer and assist with a wide variety of questions and concerns. The subject of stain became a topic of interest as those attending varied in age, sex, health, and habits. Which of the following statements are valid?

  1. stains appear on the outside surface of teeth or within the tooth
  2. all stains can be removed by scaling and polishing
  3. stains may be caused be bacteria, chemicals or foods
  4. green stain is common in adults
  5. endogenous stain occurs during tooth development
a) 2, 3 b) 2, 4 c) 1, 3, 5 d) 1, 3, 4 e) 2, 3, 4, 5


Question 3:
The dental health educator is working with a hypertensive, geriatric patient to develop positive tooth brushing/flossing habits and an oral environment free of calculus, plaque or stains. Which of the following statements would be applicable?

  1. use a powered toothbrush
  2. floss using the middle fingers, index fingers and thumbs
  3. floss using a bridge threader
  4. floss using a flossing wand
  5. initially have the teeth polished using an air-powder polishing technique using a slurry mixture
a) 5 b) 1, 2 c) 1, 4 d) 2, 3, 5 e) 1, 2, 5


Question 4:
Maslow's "heirarchy of needs" include in ascending order:

  1. physiology
  2. security
  3. social
  4. ego
  5. self actualization

The lower needs must be met before the higher needs can be satisfied. The dental health educator has been working with a family who have been members of the practice for several years. Initially the family visited for emergency situations only, but over time the parents completed university, paid back student loans, bought a home, had a wonderful family life, and moved through the corporate ladder each time securing a more satisfying job and higher financial compensation. Dentally the family progressed to regular dental visits and a firm commitment to their oral health. Mrs. Morrison has reached the level of satisfying her ego needs. Over the long weekend Mrs. Morrison fractured an anterior tooth which had been slated for root canal therapy, post and core and crown. Mrs. Martin is experiencing severe discomfort and is extremely self conscious about her appearance. Once seated in the dental chair, Mrs. Morrison locks her ankles together and clenches the arm rests. The dental educator recognizes this as a nonverbal cue and approaches the patient bearing this in mind. Mrs. Morrisson's gesture is indicating ______________________________.

a) defensiveness b) openness c) embarrassment d) nervousness e) touching


Question 5:
Katie, the dental health educator in Dr. Stephen's office is working to provide an active learning environment for successful patient education programs. Which of the following statements is / are not indicative of the development of a new habit pattern based on patient acceptance and active participatory learning?

  1. listen to the patient's feeling about their current oral condition
  2. design with the patient a plan or program to satisfy the patient's needs and abilities
  3. introduce all skills to be learned at once using visual aids
  4. send the patient home to try for the first time and practice the skills
  5. provide encouragement and reinforcement to the patient
a) 2 b) 3 c) 4 d) 3, 4 e) 1, 2, 5


Question 6:
The mucogingival junction is the area where:

  1. the unattached, marginal gingiva meets the attached gingiva
  2. the interdental papillae meet the attached gingiva
  3. the tissue of the labia joins the oral mucosa
  4. the attached gingiva joins the lining mucosa


Question 7:
The cusp of Carabelli is located on which of the following?

  1. maxillary second molar, facial cusp
  2. maxillary first molar, lingual cusp
  3. mandibular first molar, lingual cusp
  4. maxillary second bicuspid, lingual cusp


Question 8:
Which of the following teeth are most likely to vary in form or be congenitally missing?

  1. maxillary cuspids
  2. mandibular central incisors
  3. mandibular first bicuspids
  4. maxillary lateral incisors


Question 9:
The bony structures that appear web-like in a radiograph and are filled with bone marrow are known as:

  1. trabeculae
  2. foramen
  3. hematopoietic
  4. osteoblasts


Question 10:
The side to side shifting movements of the mandible is controlled by which muscle?

  1. zygomatic major
  2. pterygoid
  3. temporal
  4. masseter


Question 11:
To avoid the splatter of contaminants from the ultrasonic cleaning solution:

  1. the lid must always remain in place during operation
  2. the instruments being cleaned should be enclosed in resin cassettes
  3. the ultrasonic cleaner should not be operational for cycles longer than 10 minutes
  4. operators should periodically test the cleaning unit for effectiveness


Question 12:
Sterilizer monitoring services or agencies will send the dental office reports by either telephone or mail. A positive report:

  1. indicates that sterilization did not occur during the test cycle
  2. indicates that sterilization occurred during the test cycle
  3. indicates the sterilizer does not require service or attention at the time of testing
  4. both b and c


Question 13:
A properly positioned chairside dental assistant is:

  1. 2 to 3 inches lower than the operator
  2. at the same height as the operator
  3. 4 to 5 inches higher than the operator
  4. 12 inches higher than the operator


Question 14:
The clock concept for a left handed operator locates the assistant's zone:

  1. between 2:00 and 4:00
  2. between 8:00 and 10:00
  3. between 12:00 and 5:00


Question 15:
The instrument of choice to remove carious dentin, debris or excess cement from a tooth would be:

  1. a chisel
  2. the air-water syringe
  3. a spoon excavator
  4. a Hollenback


Question 16:
Current medications are noted in the medical history update because:

  1. they will indicate to the dentist whether the patient is at risk for transient bacteremia
  2. they will alert the dentist to infectious disease risks
  3. they will help the dentist choose appropriate anesthetics and treatment options
  4. a and b


Question 17:
If a second attempt is necessary to obtain a correct reading or confirm an abnormal reading, a minimum of __________________ must pass or the other arm is used.

  1. 3 minutes
  2. 5 minutes
  3. 10 minutes
  4. 20 minutes


Question 18:
Nitroglycerine is available in several forms which determine the route of administration. Which of the following are correct?

  1. oral tablet or oral capsule
  2. translingual spray or sublingual tablet
  3. liquid suspension or preloaded injection syringe


Question 19:
Induction time for local anesthetic is described as:

  1. the length of time taken by the dentist to inject the full carpule of anesthetic
  2. the period of time from the injection of the anesthetic until effective anesthesia is in place
  3. the period of time from complete anesthesia until complete reversal


Question 20:
An area of decay in the cervical third of the facial surface of a tooth would be considered __________________ using Black's classification of cavities.

  1. class I
  2. class III
  3. class V
  4. class VI


Question 21:
Mrs. Jeannie Maryland telephones Dr. Stephen's office to request a tax reciept for the treatment received during the previous year. Lori places Mrs. Maryland on hold in order to retrieve the records and verify the address. When Lori returns to her work station, she discovers that Mrs. Maryland has been either cut off by the office or has hung up herself. The general rule for dealing with this situation is __________________ .

  1. the individual who placed the call is the one who calls again
  2. if the office cut off Mrs. Maryland, Lori should call Mrs. Maryland
  3. if Mrs. Maryland chose to hang up, she should call the office back to request the tax receipt
  4. Lori should send a written explanation of what transpired
  5. Lori should inform all patients that requests like this should be in writing


Question 22:
The Float dental office has received a large supply order from Billings Supply House. The delivery man indicated that the order is in ten boxes and one box contains the hazardous material. The acrylic custom tray liquid is in the box marked hazardous material and the container is labeled hazardous material. The office has two laboratory areas and the solution is split between the two laboratories. Half of the solution is left in the original container and the balance is poured into a clean dry and unlabeled container. A __________________ must be attached (by the office) to the new container.

  1. workplace label
  2. supplier label
  3. shipping label
  4. a, c
  5. a, b, c


Question 23:
Mike Badder, his wife Amy Badder and their daughter Julie have a dental appointment with Dr. Bill Williams. Mike and Amy both have a private dental plan which covers the family. Mike's date of birth is May 03, 1971, Amy's is March 10, 1973 and Julie's is February 15, 1992. The treatment for the family included:

Mike Amy Julie
extraction of lower right
superumerary third molar
-emergency examination
-1 PA

The claim form for Mike's extraction will include the tooth number

  1. 4-9
  2. 4-8
  3. 9-9
  4. 17
  5. 3-9


Question 24:
A patient with dual insurance coverage calls the office after being told by the insurance company that the policies he has contain a nonduplication of benefits provision. His understanding from the insurance carrier is that
-his total fee for service is $500.00
-the primary carrier allowable limit is $200.00 for this service
-the secondary carrier allowable limit is $300.00 for this service
Considering the nonduplication of benefits provision, the patient portion (if applicable), the primary and secondary carrier allowable limits, what amount should the secondary carrier be responsible for?

  1. $100.00
  2. $200.00
  3. $300.00
  4. $500.00
  5. $0


Question 25:
Appointment Page
Dr. Bill Williams          Friday, January 10, 20xx
Question 25 - Chart
Tanya Roberts asks the administrator if any additional appointments are required following the Friday, January 10, 20xx visit. The administrator's most likely response will be____________________________________.

  1. yes
  2. no
  3. possibly
  4. that she must check her chart
  5. that she should ask the dentist on Friday.


Question 26:
The fabrication of a gold crown involves many steps. Following the removal of the casting from the ring and brushing away adhering investment material the casting is placed in an acid solution to remove surface oxidation. The process of removing surface oxidation is called _________________.

  1. polishing
  2. finishing
  3. pickling
  4. casting
  5. tempering


Question 27:
The initial set of alginate is indicated by a/an ____________.

  1. glossy appearance
  2. exothermic reaction
  3. loss of tackiness
  4. endothermic reaction
  5. chalky appearance


Question 28:
The dental assistant removes the alginate impression from the patient's mouth and then __________________ the impression.

  1. rinses with water, shakes to remove excess liquid, sprays with disinfectant, shakes to remove excess, sprays with disinfectant, pours in stone
  2. blows until debris free, sprays with disinfectant, shakes to remove excess liquid, pours in stone
  3. rinses with water, shakes to remove excess, sprays with disinfectant, shakes to remove excess liquid, pours in stone
  4. sprays with disinfectant, pours in stone
  5. rinses with water, sprays with disinfectant, pours in stone


Question 29:
Mrs. Marine Pars is in Dr. Stephen's office to discuss the fabrication of a bridge from 1-6 to 1-4. Dr. Stephen's dental assistant Rosa is directed by Dr. Stephen's to obtain alginate impressions for study models. Rosa checks to see if Mrs. Pars is wearing a removable dental appliance. Rosa removes the upper partial denture. Rosa explains the procedure to Mrs. Pars, mixes the powder and water together and begins the impression process. To load the maxillary tray the dental assistant will ________.

  1. insert the material from the anterior and spread to the posterior
  2. overfill the posterior palatal portion of the tray to ensure all anatomy is included
  3. rotate the corner of the tray over the maxillary arch
  4. make sure the handle is in line with the nose
  5. gently bring the tray forward over the anterior teeth and flex the lip over the tray
a) 2, 3 b) 1, 2, 4 c) 3, 4, 5 d) 1, 3, 5 e) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Question 30:
Dr. Stephen's assistant, Katie, is preparing to fabricate a custom tray. She begins by preparing the cast. Which of the following steps would be included?

  1. fill the undercuts
  2. outline the margins of the cast in pencil, indicating the area the tray will cover
  3. place a spacer on the cast to create room in the tray for the impression material
  4. cut spacer stops in the spacer
a) 2 b) 3 c) 2, 3, 4 d) 1, 2, 3, 4


Question 31:
Michael Smart is scheduled for preliminary impressions. Dr. Jones will instruct the commercial laboratory to fabricate a sports mouth guard. The dental assistant has not disinfected the alginate impression prior to placing it in a sealed plastic bag. How should the laboratory be made aware of this?

  1. the dental assistant will telephone the laboratory
  2. the dental assistant will place a damp paper in the bag
  3. the receptionist will telephone the laboratory
  4. the dental assistant will label the bag with a hazardous symbol
a) 1 b) 4 c) 2, 3 d) 1, 2 e) 2, 3, 4


Question 32:
Susan Jones is scheduled for endodontic treatment. The operative tooth is the upper right central incisor. After the tooth has been anesthetized, the procedure begins with the placement of the rubber dam. The pulp tissue is removed and the dentist inserts an endodontic file to determine the length of the canal. The film is exposed and processed. The radiographic image is measured to obtain the length of the canal. What may result from an inaccurate length measurement?

  1. perforation of the apex
  2. postoperative pain
  3. overinstrumentation of the canal
  4. underinstrumentation of the canal
  5. underfilling of the canal
a) 1 b) 2, 5 c) 3, 4 d) 1, 2, 3, 4 e) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Question 33:
After a complete clinical examination, the following is noted on the treatment chart of a twenty-five year old female patient:
- wisdom teeth are missing
- all other permanent teeth are present
- 4 - 5 is in lingual version
- 3 - 5 requires an MOD amalgam restoration
- 4 - 7 requires an occlusal composite

How is the rubber dam adapted to accommodate tooth 4 - 5?

  1. a larger size hole would be created
  2. the hole is created 1mm lingual to the alignment
  3. the hole is created 1mm facial to the alignment
  4. the hole is created 2 - 3mm lingual to the alignment
  5. the hole is created 2 - 3mm facial to the alignment
a) 2 b) 3 c) 4 d) 1, 2   e) 1, 5


Question 34:
Coronal polishing should be limited to a handpiece speed of under __________________.

  1. 10,000 RPM
  2. 20,000 RPM
  3. 50,0000 RPM
  4. 75,000 RPM


Question 35:
When evaluating a patient's oral hygiene an index which categorizes the amount of tooth structure covered by plaque, calculus and stain may be used, if the index used in your office is from 0 - 3 indicating ideal to poor oral hygiene and/or accumulation. An index of 1 indicates:

  1. there is no plaque, stain or calculus present
  2. there is plaque, stain or calculus present within the gingival 3rd of the teeth
  3. there is plaque, stain or calculus present extending into the middle 3rd of the teeth
  4. there is plaque, stain and calculus covering most of the tooth surfaces


Question 36:
Following the diagnostic evaluation the dentist provides the patient with standard treatment alternatives, benefits and costs. The informed patient exercised "the right to chose" and selects a treatment plan which does not reflect the dentist's preference. The value demonstrated in this situation is ______________________.

  1. patient autonomy
  2. practice preference
  3. life and health
  4. appropriate and pain free oral function
  5. aesthetics


Question 37:
A dentist is responsible for providing care to members of society and must be aware of behavior that is discriminatory or contradictory to human rights legislation. A dentist has a right, in an emergency situation, to refuse care based on _________________.

  1. personal conflict
  2. time constraint
  3. religious belief
  4. race
  5. medical condition
a) 2 b) 5 c) 1, 5 d) 1, 2 e) 3, 4


Question 38:
Ongoing review of the regular activities in a dental practice will indicate the effectiveness of the time management of the team members and time wasting activities. Which of the following is/are indicative of time wasting activity or behavior?

  1. not planning
  2. lack of privacy
  3. work area clutter
  4. organize work flow
  5. establish deadlines
a) 1 b) 1, 4 c) 4, 5 d) 1, 2, 3 e) 2, 3, 5


Question 39:
A new patient is seeing the dentist requesting a second opinion regarding a treatment plan proposed by another office. The dentist agrees to a clinical examination and to provide the patient with independent treatment alternatives, costs and benefits. After providing the patient with comprehensive alternatives the dentist leaves the room and the dental assistant prepares to dismiss the patient. The patient expresses disbelief at the current state of her teeth, remarking that a lot of time and money has been spent through the years maintaining her teeth. The dental assistant explains that the quality of care that she had received in the past was poor and in fact is responsible for her current dental situation. The dental assistant's statement could prove damaging under the concept of __________________________.

  1. act of omission
  2. act of commission
  3. malpractice
  4. jurisprudence
  5. defamation of character


Question 40:
An orthodontic patient arrives for a 10:00 appointment. (Her arch wire needs to be tightened) The dental assistant observes the patient as being anxious and unresponsive to conversation. At the end of the session, the patient informs the assistant that at the previous appointment (for the same treatment), another assistant left a rough edge that resulted in a lacerated cheek. In addition, the same assistant made a rude comment (during a filling appointment six months ago) regarding the patient's nose ring.
How should the dental assistant deal with this situation?

  1. asks the patient to make another appointment to discuss this
  2. discuss immediately
  3. recognize the real issue
  4. avoid being argumentative
  5. document details of the conversation
a) 1 b) 5 c) 2, 5 d) 3, 4 e) 2, 3, 4, 5


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