Pearson's Comprehensive Dental Assisting, 1st edition

  • Lori Tyler

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Pearson’s Comprehensive Dental Assisting  is all about ensuring that you will be a successful student and dental assistant. To help ensure this success, a focus is placed on learning both technical and people skills. This comprehensive textbook presents a step-by-step, competency based approach that covers all the facets of the dental assisting profession. People skills are covered throughout the text as various areas related to cultural and lifespan considerations are discussed.  This text was developed and organized with both the needs of the instructor and student in mind. Attention was paid to ensure that the information flowed smoothly and that the topics were presented simply for students to be able to grasp the concepts.

Table of contents



Unit One          Introduction to the Field of Dentistry


Chapter 1         History of Dentistry

Early Times

The Renaissance

Early America

Educational and Professional Development in the United States

Community Dental Health Program


Chapter 2         The Dental Team

Dental Assistant

Credential, Professional Growth, and Development


Dental Specialist

Registered Dental Hygienist

Dental Laboratory Technician

Support Staff in the Dental Office


Chapter 3         Dental Ethics and Law

Ethical Principles in Dentistry

Professional Code of Ethics

State Dental Practice Act

Dental Jurisprudence

Risk Management


Dentist-Patient Relationship

The Patient Record


Unit Two          Dental Sciences


Chapter 4         General Anatomy and Physiology

Planes and Body Directions

Structural Units

Body Cavities

Body Regions

Introduction to Major Body Systems

Skeletal System

Muscular System

Cardiovascular System

Lymphatic System

Nervous System

Respiratory System

Digestive System

Endocrine System

Urinary System

Integumentary System

Reproductive System

The Interaction of the Eleven Systems of the Body


Chapter 5         Head and Neck Anatomy

Regions of the Head

Bones of the Skull

Muscles of the Face and Oral Cavity

Lymph Nodes of the Face and Neck

Nerves of the Face and Neck

Circulatory System of the Face and Neck


Chapter 6         The Face and Oral Cavity

Landmarks of the Face

The Oral Cavity

The Oral Cavity Proper

Oral Cancer and Other Conditions


Chapter 7         Oral Embryology and Histology

Oral Embryology

Formation and Growth of the Teeth

Supporting Structures


Chapter 8         Tooth Development

Histology of Tooth Development

Hard Tissues of the Teeth

Formulation of the Periodontium

Dentition Periods


Chapter 9         Dental Charting

Dental Arches

Dentition Periods

Types and Functions of Teeth

Tooth Surfaces

The Morphology of Teeth

Angles and Divisions

Stabilization of the Maxillary and Mandibular Arches

Tooth Numbering Systems

Cavity Classification

Dental Charting Procedures


Chapter 10       Oral Pathology

Diseases and Conditions Affecting the Oral Cavity

Oral Lesions

Conditions of the Tongue

Oral Conditions due to HIV and AIDS

Miscellaneous Disorders


Chapter 11       Microbiology

Pioneers in Microbiology

Major Groups of Microorganisms

Viral Diseases

Bacterial Diseases


Unit Three        Oral Health and Prevention


Chapter 12       Dental Disease and Infection Control

The Chain of Infection

The Immune System

Disease Transmission in the Dental Office

Roles and Responsibilities of the CDC and OSHA in Infection Control

Exposure Control Plan

Procedure 12-1: Disinfecting a Treatment Room

Procedure 12-2: Placing and Removing Surface Barriers

Infection Control Practices

Procedure 12-3: CDC Recommendations for Hand Asepsis and Hand Washing

Waste Management in the Dental Office

Additional Infection Control Practices

Procedure 12-4: Infection Control in the Darkroom

Procedure 12-5: Infection Control with a Daylight Loader

Special Considerations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Chapter 13       Dental Caries

The Caries Process

The Importance of Saliva

Diagnosis of Caries

Methods of Caries Intervention

Risk Assessment of Caries


Chapter 14       Periodontal Disease

Structure of the Periodontium

Prevalence of Periodontal Disease

Types of Periodontal Disease

Oral Conditions Linked to Periodontal Disease

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Systemic Conditions Linked to Periodontal Disease

Risk for Periodontal Disease


Chapter 15       Oral Health

Patient Education


Procedure 15-1: Applying a Topical Fluoride

Nutrition and Dental Caries

Plaque Control Program


Chapter 16       Oral Nutrition

Functions of Six Major Nutrients

Diet Modification

Diet Analysis

Reading Food Labels

Eating Disorders

Healthy Eating Habits


Chapter 17       Instrument Processing and Sterilization

Introduction to Instrument Processing

Classification of Patient Care Items

Transporting and Processing Contaminated Patient Care Items

Instrument Processing Area

Procedure 17-1: Processing Contaminated Instruments

Precleaning Instruments

Procedure 17-2: Operating the Ultrasonic Cleaner

Procedure 17-3: Testing the Ultrasonic Cleaner

Packaging and Storing of Materials

Sterilization Monitoring

Procedure 17-4: Performing Biological Monitoring

Methods of Sterilization

Procedure 17-5: Operating the Autoclave

Procedure 17-6: Operating the Chemical Vapor Sterilizer

Sterilization Failures

Handpiece Sterilization

Procedure 17-7: Sterilizing Handpieces


Chapter 18       Occupational Health and Safety

Types of Safety Standards

Hazardous Chemicals

Waste Handling and Disposal


Chapter 19       Dental Unit Waterlines

Introduction to Dental Unit Waterlines

History of Waterline Quality


Methods of Reducing Bacterial Contamination

Infection Control and Dental Unit Water


Unit Four          Caring for the Dental Patient


Chapter 20       The Dental Office

Dental Office Setting

Administrative and Reception Area

Dentist’s Private Office

Dental Staff Lounge

Daily Routine Office Care

Procedure 20-1: Opening the Dental Office

Procedure 20-2: Closing the Dental Office

Clinical Treatment Rooms

Clinical Equipment

Central Sterilization Area

Dental Laboratory Area


Chapter 21       Examination and Treatment Planning

Patient Record and Confidentiality

Creating and Maintaining the Patient Record

Patient Record Forms

Obtaining the Health History

Exam and Diagnostic Techniques

Procedure 21-1: Preparing the Patient for the Extra and Intra oral Dental Examinations

Clinical Examination of the Patient

Documentation of the Dental Examination


Care Plan Formulation

Documentation of Dental Treatment


Chapter 22       Caring for the Dental Patient

Establishing Patient Rapport

Reviewing the Patient Record

Preparing the Treatment Area

Greeting and Seating the Patient

Assessing Patient Needs

The Rights of All Patients

The Role of the Dental Assistant

Caring for Patients with Special Needs


Chapter 23       Obtaining Vital Signs

Factors that Affect Vital Signs

Body Temperature

Procedure 23-1: Taking Temperature Orally

Blood Pressure

Procedure 23-2: Measuring Blood Pressure



Procedure 23-3: Taking Pulse and Respirations


Unit Five          Basic Dental Clinical Skills


Chapter 24       Dental Instruments

Identifying Hand Instruments

Instrument Classifications

Rotary Equipment

Instrument Systems


Chapter 25       Ergonomics

Ergonomics in the Dental Office


Injuries Sustained by Dental Assistants

Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Four-Handed Dentistry

Motion Economy

Operating Zones

The Expanded Functions Dental Assistant


Chapter 26       Moisture Control

Oral Evacuation Systems

Procedure 26-1: Placing the High-Volume Evacuator Tips

Rinsing the Oral Cavity

Procedure 26-2: Performing a Limited Mouth Rinse

Procedure 26-3: Performing a Complete Mouth Rinse

Isolation of Teeth

The Dental Dam

Dental Dam Placement and Removal

Procedure 26-4: Placing a Dental Dam

Procedure 26-5: Removing a Dental Dam

Procedure 26-6: Placing a Quick Dam

Special Applications of the Dental Dam


Chapter 27       Pharmacology

Overview of Drugs

Categories of Drugs

Drug Reference Materials

Drug Administration

Controlled Substances Act

Classification of Drugs

Antibiotic Prophylaxis

Adverse Drug Effects


Chapter 28       Anesthesia and Pain Control

Local and Topical Anesthetic Agents

Procedure 28-1: Application of Topical Anesthetic

Injection Techniques

Local Anesthetic Setup

Procedure 28-2: Assembling the Local Anesthetic Syringe

Procedure 28-3: Assisting in the Administration of Local Anesthesia

Complications and Precautions

Electronic Anesthesia

Inhalation Sedation

Procedure 28-4: Assisting in the Administration and Monitoring of Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen


Antianxiety Agent

Intravenous Sedation

General Anesthesia

Documentation of Anesthesia and Pain Control



Unit Six            Assisting with Dental Procedures


Chapter 29       Dental Radiography

Discovery of X-Radiation

The Dental X-ray Unit

The Production of X-rays

Radiation Effects

Radiation Measurement

Radiation Safety

Operator Protection

Controlling Radiation

Radiation Image Characteristics


Chapter 30       Dental Film and Processing Radiographs

Dental Film Holders

Dental X-ray Film

Types of Film

Film Storage

Film Speed

Film Processing

Processing Errors

Legal Considerations in Dental Radiography

Quality Assurance in Dental Radiography

Infection Control in Dental Radiography

Procedure 30-1: Manual Dental Film Processing and Infection Control

Procedure 30-2: Automatic Dental Film Processing and Infection Control


Chapter 31       Intraoral Radiographic Procedures

Intraoral X-ray Techniques

Procedure 31-1:Patient Preparation for Intraoral Radiographs

Paralleling Technique

Procedure 31-2:Assembly of the XCP Paralleling Device

Periapical Radiographs Using the Paralleling Technique

Procedure 31-3: Full Mouth Radiographs Using the Paralleling Technique

Bisecting Angle Technique

Bitewing Technique

Occlusal Radiographs

Patients with Special Needs

Positioning Difficulties Encountered with Intraoral Radiography

Technical Errors in Intraoral Radiography

Mounting Intraoral Radiographs

Procedure 31-4:Mounting Intraoral Radiographs


Chapter 32       Extraoral and Digital Radiographic Procedures

Panoramic Radiography

Other Extraoral Radiography

Digital Radiography


Chapter 33       Restorative and Esthetic Dental Materials

Standards of Dental Materials

Properties of Dental Materials


Procedure 33-1:Mixing, Placing and Carving of Dental Amalgam

Procedure 33-2:Chemical Preparation, Placement, Curing and Finishing of Composite


Procedure 33-3:Preparing and Delivering Intermediate Restorative Material

Procedure 33-4: Preparing and Delivering of Provisional Restorative Material


Chapter 34       Dental Liners, Bases, and Bonding Systems

Cavity Preparations

Supplemental Dental Materials and Applications

Pulpal Stimuli and Responses

Dental Liners

Procedure 34-1:Application Process of Calcium Hydroxide Liner

Procedure 34-2: Application Process of Glass Ionomer Liner

Procedure 34-3: Application Process of Zinc Oxide Eugenol Cement Liner (ZOE)-Two Paste



Procedure 34-4: Application Process for Dental Varnishes

Dentin Sealer

Procedure 34-5: Application Process for Dentin Sealers

Dental Bases

Procedure 34-6: Application Process for Zinc Oxide Eugenol Cement Base (ZOE)

Procedure 34-7: Application Process for Zinc Phosphate

Procedure 34-8: Application Process for Polycarboxylate Cement Base

Dental Bonding

Procedure 34-9: Application Process for Dental Acid Etchant

Dentin Bonding

Enamel Bonding

Procedure 34-10: Application Process for Dental Bonding


Chapter 35       Dental Cements

Classification of Dental Cements

Types of Cements

Procedure 35-1:Mixing ZOE TYPE I - Temporary Cement

Procedure 35-2:Mixing ZOE Type II for Permanent Cementation

Procedure 35-3:Mixing Zinc Phosphate for Permanent Cementation

Procedure 35-4:Mixing Polycarboxylate Cement

Procedure 35-5:Mixing Glass Ionomer Cement

Procedure 35-6:Mixing Commercial Resin Cements

Removing Excess Cement

Procedure 35-7:Removing Excessive Cement


Chapter 36       Impression Materials

Types of Impressions

Impression Materials

Procedure 36-1:Alginate Impression Procedure

Procedure 36-2:Vinyl polysiloxane Cartridge Single Phase Impression Procedure

Procedure 36-3: Vinyl polysiloxane Bite Registration Procedure


Chapter 37       Laboratory Materials and Procedures

Safety in the Dental Laboratory

Dental Laboratory Equipment

Dental Laboratory Instruments

Diagnostic Cast Models

Pouring Dental Models

Procedure 37-1:Pouring Dental Models using the Inverted Pour Method

Trimming Dental Models

Procedure 37-2:Trimming Diagnostic Cast Models

Custom Impression Trays

Procedure 37-3:Constructing an Acrylic Custom Tray

Procedure 37-4: Visible Light Cure Impression Tray

Dental Waxes



Chapter 38       General Dentistry

Cavity Preparation


Procedure 38-1:Assisting with a Class I Restoration

Procedure 38-2:Assisting with a Class II Restoration

Veneers and Bonding

Procedure 38-3:Assisting with a Chair-side Veneer

Tooth Whitening


Chapter 39       Matrix Systems for Restorative Dentistry

Posterior Matrix Systems

Procedure 39-1:Preparing the Tofflemire Matrix System

Procedure 39-2:Placement and Removal of Retainer, Matrix Band and Wedge for a Class II

            Restoration by an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant

Anterior Matrix Systems

Procedure 39-3:Placement of a Clear Polyester Matrix for Class III and IV Restorations

Alternative Matrix Systems


Chapter 40       Fixed Prosthodontics

Treatment Planning

Indirect Restorations

Overview of a Crown Procedure

Procedure 40-1:Placement and Removal of Gingival Retraction Cord

Procedure 40-2:Assisting with a Crown or Bridge Restoration

Procedure 40-3:Assisting in the Cementation of a Fixed Prosthesis

Overview of a Bridge Procedure

Machined Restorations

Patient Instructions

Role of the Laboratory Technician


Chapter 41       Provisional Coverage

Criteria for Provisional Fabrication

Procedure 41-1:Custom Provisional Bridge Procedure

Procedure 41-2: Aluminum Shell Provisional Procedure

Provisional Restoration Materials

Home Care Instructions


Chapter 42       Removable Prosthodontics

History of Removable Dental Prosthesis

Factors Influencing the Choice

Removable Partial Denture

Procedure 42-1:Making a Final Impression for a Partial Denture          

The Complete (Full) Denture

Immediate Dentures


Denture Relining

Denture Repairs

Denture Duplication


Chapter 43       Dental Implants

The Dental Implant Patient

Types of Implants

Preparation for Implants

Dental Implant Maintenance

The Future of Implants


Chapter 44       Endodontic Procedures

Causes of Pulpal Damage

Symptoms of Pulpal Damage

Endodontic Diagnosis

Endodontic Procedures

Instruments and Accessories

Medicaments and Materials in Endodontics

Overview of Endodontic Treatment

Procedure 44-1:Endodontic Procedure

Surgical Endodontics

Procedure 44-2:Apicoectomy and Retrograde Filling


Chapter 45       Periodontal Procedures

The Periodontal Practice

The Periodontal Examination

Periodontal Instruments

Non-surgical Periodontal Treatment (NSPT)

Surgical Periodontal Treatment

Lasers in Periodontics


Chapter 46       Oral Surgery Procedures

Indications for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

The Oral Surgeon

The Dental Surgical Assistant

The Surgical Setting

Specialized Instruments and Accessories

Surgical Asepsis

Procedure 46-1: Surgical Scrub

Procedure 46-2: Putting on Surgical Gloves

Surgical Preparation

Surgical Procedures


Instructions for Patient Care

Post Surgical Complications


Chapter 47       Pediatric Dentistry Procedures

Pediatric Team

Pediatric Dental Office

The Pediatric Patient

Patient’s with Special Needs

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Preventative Dentistry Procedures

Procedure 47-1: Fluoride Application

Restorative Procedures and Equipment

Endodontic Procedures

Procedure 47-2:Pulpotomy on a Pediatric Patient

Prosthodontic Procedures

Procedure 47-3:Placement of Stainless Steel Crowns

Dental Trauma

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect



Chapter 48       Coronal Polishing

Coronal Polishing

Dental Stains

Coronal Polishing Materials and Equipment

Coronal Polishing Steps

Procedure 48-1: Coronal Polishing


Chapter 49       Dental Sealants

Dental Caries and Sealants

Indications for Sealants

Contraindications for Sealants

Types of Sealant Material

Storage and Use of Sealants

Precautions for Dental Personnel and Patients

Procedure 49-1: Dental Sealants

Factors in Sealant Retention


Chapter 50       Orthodontic Procedures

The Orthodontist

Orthodontic Assistant

The Orthodontic Office

Understanding Occlusion

The Alignment of Teeth and Arches

Orthodontic Records and Treatment Planning

Case Presentation

Specialized Instruments

Orthodontic Treatment

Procedure 50-1:Placing and Removing Brass Wire Separators

Procedure 50-2:Placing and Removing Steel Separating Springs

Procedure 50-3:Placing and Removing Elastomeric Ring Separators

Procedure 50-4: Assisting in the Fitting and Cementation of Orthodontic Bands

Procedure 50-5: Assisting in the Direct Bonding of Orthodontic Brackets

Auxillary Attachments

Procedure 50-6: Placing the Arch Wire and Ligature Ties


Adjustment Visits

Oral Hygiene and Dietary Instructions

Completed Treatment

Procedure 50-7: Completion Appointment


Chapter 51       Assisting in Emergency Care

Preventing Medical Emergencies

Emergency Preparedness

Recognizing and Emergency

Protocol for Emergency Situations

Procedure 51-1:ABC’s of CPR

Procedure 51-2:Operating the Automated External Defibrillator

Emergency Equipment and Supplies

Procedure 51-3:Operating the Automated External Defibrillator

Emergency Responses

Procedure 51-4:Obstructed Airway Management

Dental Emergencies

Documentation of an Emergency


Unit 7               Dental Office Management


Chapter 52       Communication Techniques

The Communication Process

Verbal Communication

Non-Verbal Communication

Listening Skills

Communicating with Members of the Dental Team

Cultural Diversity

Phone Skills

Office Equipment

Written Communication

Dental Office Procedure Manual


Chapter 53       Practice Management Procedures

Operating Procedure Manual

Computer Applications in the Dental Office

Record Keeping

Filing and Storing of Patient Records

Appointment Scheduling

Preventative Recall Programs

Inventory Management

Equipment Repairs


Chapter 54       Financial Management


Preventative Account Management

Accounts Receivable

Procedure 54-1:Basics to Managing Financial Transactions


Accounts Payable Management

Writing Checks

Procedure 54-2:Check writing steps



Chapter 55       Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance Terminology

Dental Insurance Plans

Dental Procedure Codes

Processing Claims

Management of Claims


Chapter 56       Marketing Your Skills

Professional Career Goals and Opportunities

Locating Employment Opportunities

The Resume and Cover Letter

Procedure 56-1:Steps to Preparing a Professional Resume and Cover Letter

The Interview and Follow Up

Employment Negotiations

Rights as an Employee

Advancing One’s Career


Published by Pearson (July 29th 2008) - Copyright © 2009