Q: Which instrument is NOT a critical item?
infection control, critical items, Dental Hygiene Boards questions, prep questions, dental hygiene boards sample questions, mock exam, NBDHE, NDHCE, Local anesthesia, studentrdh

Q: Which instrument is NOT a critical item?

Mini Boards Reviews for the National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Exams!
infection control, critical items, Dental Hygiene Boards questions, prep questions, dental hygiene boards sample questions, mock exam, NBDHE, NDHCE, Local anesthesia, studentrdh

(A). Curettes
(B). Surgical burs
(C). Scalpels
(D). Mouth mirrors

This question belongs to the chapter on Infection Control at StudentRDH dental hygiene board exam review (for the NBDHE, NDHCE).

  • 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 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

Memorization Tip: “C” in “Critical”,  “C” for “Cut” -> Critical items  can” Cut”. Examples: scalpels, surgical burs. What about curettes or ultrasonic tips?  If you think about it, those instruments can also “cut” tissues or calculus. Does this make more sense now?

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 curette you used on the patient today, it is a critical item because it probably contacted blood. What about the ultrasonic tip or the mouth mirror?

Applying the knowledge you learned is the best way to remember information! Use all your senses to memorize information. Reading textbooks is a good way to learn, but there are a lot more that you can do! Especially since you are preparing for the dental hygiene board exams (NBDHE, NDHCE), make sure you absorb the content properly. If you have any questions, just email me at ClaireJ@StudentRDH.com

National (NBDHE, NDHCE) + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Review by StudentRDH
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(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS
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