Q: Which instrument is NOT a critical item?
- Surgical burs
- Mouth mirrors
This question belongs to the chapter on Infection Control (ICE®) at SmarterDA dental assisting board exam review (for the DANB®).
- Critical items are items considered to be at high risk for infections. They penetrate the soft tissue, bone, or contact the blood stream. Therefore, curettes, needles, scalpels, surgical burs are critical items. Because these instruments have penetrated the soft tissues, they require heat sterilization.
- Semi-critical items are at lower risk for infections. They contact the mucous membranes and non-intact skin, but will NOT penetrate the soft tissue. Mouth mirrors and film holders belong to this category. The instruments do NOT need heat sterilization but rather intermediate/low-level of disinfection.
- Non-critical items contact intact skin but NOT the mucous membrane. Blood pressure cuff and x-ray tube head belong to this category. Those items also need intermediate/low-level of disinfection.
Answer: (D). Mouth mirrors
Now, when you are in your school clinic, take 2 minutes to label in your head (or with your friend) all items you see into those 3 categories. For example, the mirror you used on the patient today, it is a semi-critical item because it probably contacted the mucous membrane. What about the ultrasonic tip? Applying the knowledge you learned is the best way to remember information!
Reading textbooks is a good way to learn, but there is a lot more that you can do! Especially since you are preparing for the dental assisting board exams (DANB®) that will on the computer, get ready to “stare” at the screen with high focus for hours straight. If you can find sources of dental assisting exams prep solution that you can take online (not only SmarterDA but also other resources), use them. If you have any questions, just email me at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com.
#win every day!
SmarterDA wishes you #SuccessAndNothingLess!
Author: Claire RDH, CDA, MS
Claire is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA – exams prep solutions for the dental hygiene and dental assisting students. The exam review online solutions quickly became the #1 choice among students. “Studying is now “addictive!”
Prior to her career in the dental field, Claire Jeong was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States and Canada. She can be reached at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com.