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DANB Expanded Functions General Dental Assisting - Blogs Sample Questions

Which of the following instruments would you select when performing subgingival scaling?

Correct Answer:

when performing subgingival scaling, the most appropriate instrument to select is the curette. this choice is due to the specific design and functionality of the curette, which make it highly effective for cleaning beneath the gumline, where plaque and calculus accumulate and are not reachable with standard toothbrushes.

subgingival scaling is a dental procedure aimed at removing dental plaque and calculus (tartar) from the tooth surfaces located below the gumline. this is crucial in the treatment and prevention of periodontal diseases, which affect the gums and bones supporting the teeth. if left untreated, such conditions can lead to tooth loss and other serious health issues.

there are primarily two types of curettes used in subgingival scaling: universal curettes and area-specific curettes. universal curettes are designed to work on all surfaces of all teeth, making them highly versatile. on the other hand, area-specific curettes are designed to adapt to specific areas of the mouth, such as the mesial or distal surfaces of the teeth, allowing for more precise scaling in those areas.

the design features of curettes include a rounded back and a rounded toe, which differentiate them from scalers that have pointed tips and are generally used for supragingival scaling (above the gum line). the rounded design of the curette helps in gently accessing and effectively cleaning the subgingival spaces without causing unnecessary trauma to the gum tissue.

other instruments mentioned, such as the scaler, gingival probe, and beavertail burnisher, serve different purposes. scalers are primarily used for removing calculus from above the gumline. the gingival probe is used for measuring pocket depths around a tooth to assess the health of the periodontal area, not for cleaning. lastly, the beavertail burnisher is used for smoothing amalgam after filling a cavity, not for scaling processes.

in conclusion, for subgingival scaling, the curette is the preferred choice due to its effective design for cleaning beneath the gumline, thereby helping in the management and prevention of periodontal diseases. it is important for dental professionals to select the appropriate type of curette based on the specific needs of the patient's oral health condition.

Hands at the throat is the universal signal for which of the following?

Correct Answer:

the question refers to the universal signal where a person places their hands at the throat, and the correct answer to what this indicates is "choking." this gesture is a widely recognized distress signal indicating that an individual might be choking. choking occurs when a foreign object, such as food or another small item, gets lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air to the lungs. this can lead to a lack of oxygen and can be a life-threatening emergency if not addressed promptly.

in the context of dental procedures, the risk of choking is notably higher. this is due to the various substances used, such as dental pastes and other small debris, which can accidentally enter the airway. additionally, the positioning of the patient during dental treatments can sometimes contribute to the risk, making it easier for materials to slip into the throat. knowing this, dental professionals are always vigilant about signs of distress in their patients.

when a patient instinctively brings their hands to their throat, it is a critical cue for the dental practitioner. this action is a non-verbal communication indicating potential airway obstruction. the first step a healthcare provider should take is to ask the patient if they are choking, provided the patient can still speak. if the patient is unable to speak, cough, or breathe, immediate action needs to be taken to clear the airway and possibly perform the heimlich maneuver or seek emergency help.

this signal is not specific to choking alone but is generally associated with it due to its immediate and visible nature. it's important to differentiate this from other conditions like allergies, angina, or asthma, which might have different symptoms and signs. for instance, allergies might involve swelling or hives, angina would typically present with chest pain, and asthma might be indicated by wheezing and difficulty breathing but not necessarily hands at the throat.

understanding these signals and responses is crucial in a medical setting to provide timely and effective care, preventing possible fatal consequences of choking. always observing and interpreting patients' non-verbal cues accurately plays an essential role in healthcare settings, particularly in emergency responses.