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Dental Assisting

Entry Level Assessment Blueprint

Specific Competencies and Skills Tested in this Assessment:

Introduction to the Dental Assisting Profession 

  • Identify career roles, functions, obligations, and limitations of a dental assistant
  • Identify professional organizations within the dental community
  • Describe ethics and jurisprudence as they relate to the dental profession
  • Identify the roles of the dental healthcare team
  • Identify the major dental specialties


Communication Skills and Business Office Procedures

  • Communicate with patients, dental team members, other health professionals, and the public
  • Obtain, update, and file current documentation of patient record, status, and treatment
  • Maintain procedures for legal access to patient records according to HIPAA standards 
  • Schedule and maintain appointment book, using computer and manual appointment systems
  • Process and maintain inventory control systems


Infection Control and Hazards Management

  • Demonstrate understanding of steps to be followed after a bloodborne pathogen exposure incident
  • Dispose of waste and hazardous materials in compliance with federal regulations
  • Maintain personal safety and hygiene according to CDC, EPA, and OSHA guidelines
  • Understand pre-cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization procedures according to federal guidelines
  • Interpret, maintain, and use SDS sheets
  • Understand disease transmission and asepsis procedures


Clinical Procedures

  • Take alginate impressions
  • Pour impressions; trim and articulate cast and models
  • Seat and dismiss patient
  • Obtain, measure, and record vital signs
  • Chart oral condition as dictated by the dentist
  • Instruct patient and family in oral hygiene techniques and nutrition
  • Maintain moisture control during dental procedures
  • Prepare and assist with armamentarium relating to composite resin and amalgam restorations
  • Prepare and assist with application and removal of dental dam
  • Prepare various temporary and permanent dental materials
  • Describe procedures for chairside assisting in various dental specialties
  • Prepare and assist with preventive procedures including fluorides and sealants
  • Demonstrate instrument and material transfer
  • Prepare and assist with administration of local and topical anesthesia
  • Fabricate provisional coverage for crown and bridge (C&B)
  • Prepare and mix various elastomeric impression materials for fixed and removable prosthetics
  • Identify various dental instruments and tray set-ups
  • Identify various handpieces and associated rotary instruments
  • Identify and assist with various types of medical and dental emergencies
  • Demonstrate ergonomic positioning of the patient, dental team, and dental unit
  • Provide patients with pre-treatment and post-treatment instruction and management


Radiological and Digital Imagery Procedures

  • Mount and label dental intraoral and extraoral radiographs
  • Practice patient and operator safety measures for radiation
  • Demonstrate infection control protocol specific to radiologic procedures
  • Maintain quality assurance specific to radiologic procedures, solutions, film, and equipment
  • Demonstrate appropriate techniques for film and/or digital imagery placement and exposure
  • Expose diagnostic quality intraoral radiograph using parallel or bisecting techniques
  • Identify, select, and assemble radiographic equipment used in extraoral and intraoral procedures
  • Differentiate between the normal and abnormal appearance of tooth structure, and supporting structures
  • Identify and troubleshoot exposure and processing errors

Dental Sciences

  • Describe the body systems of general human anatomy
  • Describe head and neck anatomy (e.g., muscles, cranial nerves, facial and cranial bones)
  • Name and identify the location of teeth and their surfaces
  • Describe the tissues of the tooth, functions, and landmarks of the oral cavity
  • Define numbering systems of permanent and primary dentitions


Written Assessment: 

Administration Time: 3 hours   

Number of Questions: 179  


Areas Covered:

Introduction to the Dental Assisting Profession: 8%

Communication Skills and Business Office Procedures: 8%

Infection Control and Hazard Management: 15%

Clinical Procedures: 40%

Radio logical and Dental Imaging Procedures: 19%

Dental Sciences: 10%


Sample Questions:

A patient’s medical history is updated

  1. at every visit
  2. as needed
  3. every six months
  4. annually


The preferred reliable method of sterilization is

  1. dry heat
  2. autoclave
  3. bleach solution
  4. chemical heat


To prevent air bubbles in a model or cast, use

  1. a higher water/powder ratio
  2. warm water
  3. boxing techniques
  4. a laboratory vibrator 


The tissues most sensitive to radiation are

  1. kidneys and nerves
  2. bone and salivary glands
  3. skin and oral mucosa
  4. thyroid and reproductive cells


Another word for primary teeth is

  1. succedaneous
  2. edentulous
  3. deciduous
  4. supernumerary


Consumable dental supplies are the supplies that

  1. are used quickly and reordered regularly
  2. are used occasionally throughout the year
  3. wear out from continual use
  4. must be autoclaved

Skin is part of the body’s _____ system.

  1. digestive
  2. endocrine
  3. integumentary
  4. lymphatic


To examine the apex of a tooth, use which type of x-ray film?

  1. periapical
  2. panoramic
  3. occlusal
  4. bitewing


After use, place disposable needles in a/an

  1. general waste container
  2. biohazard trash bag
  3. approved sharps container
  4. autoclave


To correct an error in charting

  1. cover the error with wite-out®
  2. erase the error
  3. use double lines and red pen
  4. draw a line through the error and rewrite a correction


Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes   

Number of Jobs: 6


Areas Covered: 

21% Procedure 1:  Prepare Instruments for Autoclaving 

Participant will assemble materials and equipment necessary to prepare instruments for autoclaving following the correct safety and sanitation procedures.


12% Procedure 2:  Assemble Equipment to Expose Radiographic Film

Participant will assemble radiographic equipment in order to ensure accurate film and tube placement when exposing x-rays. 


12% Procedure 3:  Mount Full Series Radiographs 

Participant will be given a full series of radiographs and will be required to mount the radiographs for viewing from the labial view.


21% Procedure 4:  Assemble and Disassemble Aspirating Syringe 

Participant will properly assemble and disassemble an aspirating syringe in preparation for injection following the correct safety and sanitation procedures. The participant will remove and properly dispose of the needle and cartridge.


22% Procedure 5:  Take a Single Mandibular Alginate Impression

Participant will properly assemble the appropriate armamentarium and make the impression following the correct safety and sanitation procedures.


12% Procedure 6:  Prepare Class III (Anterior) Composite Tray 

Participant will choose the appropriate instruments and armamentarium for a composite restoration following the correct safety and sanitation procedures.


Sample Job:

Procedure 1 – Prepare Instruments for Autoclaving

Maximum Time: 15 minutes 

Participant Activity: The test participant will assemble materials and equipment necessary to prepare instruments for autoclaving following the steps provided.