2023 Edition

Dental Assistant Practice Exam

Try our free Dental Assistant Practice Exam below. Your results will be scored automatically and will display your strengths and weaknesses.

Dental assisting certification is for those who have met their state dental assisting educational requirements and passed an exam. This certification is required by 29 states and recognized by 38 states including the District of Columbia. The actual exam consists of three sections - General Chairside Assistance, Infection Control and Dental Radiography - with a total of 255 multiple-choice questions. Total exam time is limited to three hours and fifteen minutes.

For complete study, check out our 750 question Practice Exam Kit for the Certified Dental Assistant Exam.


General Chairside Assistance

1. A permanent dentition consists of how many teeth?
2. Which teeth are sometimes called the "eye" teeth?
3. Which proximal surface of a tooth is closest toward the midline of the body?
4. A permanent dentition consists of how many premolars?
5. When a mouth is divided into fourths, the parts are referred to as:
6. What is the vertical movement of a tooth into its functional position in the mouth called?
7. The labial surface is the facial tooth surface closest to which area?
8. The temporomandibular joint causes movement in which dental arch?
9. Using the Universal System of tooth designation, what tooth is #12?
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10. Using the International Standards Organization system of tooth recording, which tooth is #25?
11. Dental assistants are not permitted to use which dental tool?
12. If you enter an operatory and see sodium hypochlorite, files, a rubber dam, and gutta percha sitting on a tray, which procedure will you most likely be assisting on?
13. Which type of restoration would not require the use of a matrix band or celluloid matrix strip?
14. Why are intermediate restorations sometimes used in dentistry?
15. Which tooth whitening option provides the fastest results?
16. The T-Band matrix system is designed to be used on which teeth?
17. During periodontal probing, which sulcus measurement is considered normal?

Infection Control

18. Which of the following is NOT a mode of disease transmission?
19. Which Hepatitis virus should healthcare personnel be immunized against?
20. Which of the following diseases can be spread through contaminated water supplies?
21. A patient experiences an infection where symptoms appear quickly and are severe. What type of infection is this?
22. A patient presents with symptoms of an oral yeast infection. All of the following can cause this infection, except:
23. What is a microorganism called that is capable of causing diseases?
24. Which disease is an example of one caused by a spore?
25. Sending contaminated impressions to a dental lab and wearing contaminated clothing outside of the dental office can cause which type of disease transmission?
26. The assumption that all blood and body fluids are to be treated as if known to be infected is called?
27. Dental Assistants fall under which occupational exposure category?
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28. Where must needles, scalpel blades and orthodontic wires be disposed?
29. Masks, eyewear with front and side protection, face shields and gloves are examples of what?
30. Which type of gloves should be worn during an implant placement procedure?
31. Scrap amalgam falls under which classification of waste?
32. Paper towels falls under which classification of waste?
33. The portal of entry for air-borne pathogens does NOT include which area?
34. Which type of infection presents symptoms that come and go?

Dental Radiography

35. What type of film allows the entire dentition to be viewed on a single film?
36. Which of the following is not a main component of a panoramic x-ray unit?
37. What type of device does digital radiography use to record images taken of the patient's teeth?
38. Which of the following inflicts the most radiation on a patient?
39. What step helps prevent a large radiolucent area near the palate as seen on panoramic x-rays?
40. Why does digital radiography require less radiation than traditional x-rays?
41. Refer to the radiograph to answer the next three quesitons.

This is an example of what type of dental radiograph?


42. How many root canal treated teeth are present on the mandibular arch?
43. This patient has a bridge on the lower left quadrant. How many pontics does this bridge contain?
44. Digital x-ray sensors:
45. Which type of dental radiograph shows 3D images?
46. What size film or sensor is recommended for pediatric patients with primary dentition?
47. Which instrument was designed for taking radiographs of teeth with endodontic instruments inside of them?
48. Which type of radiation initially comes from the x-ray tube?
49. A lead apron with a thyroid collar will protect a patient from what type of radiation?
50. Why should fingers not be used to hold x-ray film or sensors while taking radiographs?

CDA Practice Exam

Quality starts with who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writer
Tiffany Neal, CDA (DANB), EFDA
, has been a practicing dental assistant for close to 20 years. She has taught dental assisting at Everest College in Colorado.

Sharon Boyd, RDH
, is a registered dental hygienist and dental educator. As a professional dental writer, she has worked for several continuing education programs and is the head continuing education curriculum writer for an American Dental Association CERP provider.

Abby Altergott, RDH
, is a registered dental hygienist who has worked in the specialties of oral surgery, periodontics and orthodontics for eight years. She worked as a dental assistant for three years.

Our practice exam follows the CDA blueprint component exam areas: GC, RHS & ICE:

1. General Chairside Assisting (GC)

GC Exam Blueprint:

  • Collection and Recording of Clinical Data (10%)
  • Chairside Dental Procedures (45%)
  • Chairside Dental and Lab Materials (13%)
  • Patient Education and Oral Health Management (10%)
  • Prevention and Management of Emergencies (12%)
  • Office Operations (10%)

GC Exam Summary:

  • 120 multiple-choice questions
  • 1 ½ hours testing time
  • $200 stand-alone exam fee

2. Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)

RHS Exam Blueprint:

  • Expose and Evaluate (26%)
  • Quality Assurance and Radiology Regulations (21%)
  • Radiation Safety for Patients and Operators (31%)
  • Infection Control (22%)

RHS Exam Summary:

  • 100 multiple-choice questions
  • 1 ¼ hours testing time
  • $175 stand-alone exam fee

3. Infection Control (ICE)

ICE Exam Blueprint:

  • Patient and Dental Healthcare Worker Education (10%)
  • Prevent Cross-contamination and disease transmission (20%)
  • Maintain aseptic conditions (10%)
  • Instrument processing (15%)
  • Aspesis procedures (15%)
  • Occupational Safety (30%)

ICE Exam Summary:

  • 100 multiple-choice questions
  • 1 ¼ hours testing time
  • $175 stand-alone exam fee