Law and Ethics for Dental Assisting Exam Practice Problems (page 2)
The study guide for these practice problems can be found at:
1. Which of the following determines which duties the dental assistant can perform?
a. federal law
b. state law
c. the contracting group
d. the dentist
e. both b and d
2. To what does the standard of moral principles and professional standards of conduct refer?
a. code of ethics
c. state dental practice act
d. dental jurisprudence
e. code of dental morals
3. Which of the following is NOT a negligent act?
a. failure to diagnose
b. failure to refer
c. failure to sterilize
d. failure to give a treatment plan
e. both b and d
4. What must the dentist do if a dental procedure has any risk of failure?
a. refer the case to a specialist
b. inform the patient
c. get an expert witness
d. make sure all charting is accurate
e. stop treatment
5. All dentists have a duty to conform to a standard of care. If a case of negligence arises, the dentist would be judged by the standard of care of all dentists in what geographic area or organization?
a. the United States
b. the state in which he or she is practicing
c. the county in which he or she is practicing
d. the local dental society
e. the immediate area in which he or she is practicing
6. Which of the following describes: an act that a reasonable and careful person under similar circumstances would NOT do; or, the failure to perform an act that a reasonable and careful person would do under similar circumstances?
b. defamation of character
d. dental jurisprudence
e. both a and c
7. An insurance company requests verification of a patient’s birth date and complete name. A copy of the patient’s entire record, including the health history that indicates evidence of HIV, is sent to the insurance company. What is this action considered?
b. assault and battery
c. invasion of privacy
d. defamation of character
e. both c and d
8. A patient asks the dentist or other dental professional to change the date of treatment on a dental claim to insure more benefits. What is this act called?
b. breach of contract
e. defamation of character
9. Which of the following cannot sign a consent form?
b. adult patient
c. minor patient
d. legal guardian
e. none of the above
10. A dentist moves to another state without informing his or her patients and fails to arrange for care for patients still in need of treatment. What is this action known as?
d. assault and battery
e. none of the above
11. You are summoned to provide firsthand knowledge as testimony in a lawsuit against a dental practice. What would you be in this case?
c. fact witness
d. expert witness
e. both a and c
12. Which of the following terms is defined as the severance of a professional relationship with a patient who is still in need of dental care and attention without giving adequate notice to the patient?
13. In a malpractice court case, what happens to dental records?
a. they are not admissible as evidence
b. they should be written in pencil
c. they are legally admissible as evidence
d. they are sent to the patient for review first
e. they are sent to the witness for review first
14. In each state, what contains the legal restrictions and controls on the dentist, dental professionals, and the practice of dentistry?
a. ADAA Code of Ethics
b. state board of dentistry
c. state Dental Practice Act
d. both b and c
e. both a and b
15. Which of the following is NOT included in the informed consent form? a. benefits of treatment b. risks of treatment c. nature of proposed treatment d. payment plan for treatment e. both b and d
16. What professional term means “do no harm”?
17. What does HIPAA stand for?
a. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
b. Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act
c. Health Institute of Public and Accessibility Act
d. Hospital Infection Procedures and Asepsis Measures
e. Hospital Internal Protocol and Accountability Processes
18. What does confidentiality mean?
a. The patient has a right to privacy.
b. The dental office does not reveal any personal information about the patient.
c. The patient has autonomy.
d. The office can share information with another health care provider.
e. both a and b
19. Who owns the clinical record and dental radiographs?
a. the dentist
b. the patient
c. the state
d. the insurance company
e. the board of dentistry
20. If a mistake is made during chart documentation, what is the proper way of correcting the error?
a. using white correction fluid to cover the mistake and start over
b. drawing a straight line through the mistake and beginning on the next line
c. erasing it
d. scribbling it out so it is completely darkened and cannot be read
e. using a pencil and writing corrections as close to the mistake as possible
21. A group chart is acceptable when all family members are patients.
22. A patient’s financial ledger is part of her or his clinical record.
23. All dental professionals are required to report abuse.
24. It is acceptable for a dentist to refuse treatment to a patient with HIV.
25. Each chart entry must be made in ink, dated, and signed by both the dentist and the assistant.
26. If a patient’s treatment plan will take longer than one year to complete, a written informed consent form must be discussed with and signed by the patient.
27. It is not a criminal act for a dental assistant to perform an illegal function as long as the dentist has asked him or her to do so.
28. When patients enter a dental office, they are giving implied consent for a dental exam.
29. Broken appointments should only be noted in the patient’s chart when a fee is being applied for the broken appointment.
30. When presenting a treatment plan, the patient should be told of the benefits, risks, and treatment alternatives.
Practice Answers and Explanations
1. b. State law determines which duties the dental assistant can perform. These regulations are found in the state Dental Practice Act. Each state is different.
2. a. The code of ethics is a voluntary set of standards a profession establishes.
3. d. A dental professional is obligated to diagnose, to refer the patient to a needed specialist, and to sterilize all instrumentation. Failure to give a treatment plan is not a negligent act.
4. b. The dentist must explain to the patient the risks, benefits, and options prior to beginning any treatment. If the dentist feels that the treatment may not be completely successful, he or she must disclose this to the patient.
5. b. In any litigation, a dentist is judged by his or her peers in the state in which he or she works.
6. a. Negligence is what a reasonable and careful person under similar circumstances would NOT do. It is also the failure to perform an act that a reasonable and careful person would do under similar circumstances.
7. c. Invasion of privacy is the act of disclosing a patient’s personal information without his or her consent. In this case, the dental office supplied the insurance company with more information than was requested.
8. d. Changing the date on an insurance claim form may lead the insurance company to pay the dentist or employee added monetary benefits. This is fraudulent.
9. c. By law, minors are not allowed to enter into a contract. Therefore, a consent form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
10. b. Abandonment is the refusal of a dentist to care for an existing patient who has a pending treatment plan without giving the patient reasonable notice.
11. c. A fact witness is one who was present at the time of the alleged wrongful act. This witness is usually summoned to provide testimony about what he or she witnessed.
12. b. If a dentist no longer wishes to provide treatment to a patient with an existing treatment plan, he or she must follow the proper patient dismissal protocol. If he or she does not, this is considered abandonment.
13. c. Dental records are legal documents and are admissible as evidence in all litigations.
14. c. Each state defines the legal scope of dental practice and the requirements necessary to practice dentistry. This is outlined in the state Dental Practice Act.
15. d. The informed consent form describes the benefits of the treatment, the risks involved, and the nature of the proposed treatment. The payment plan is never included in this consent form.
16. a. Nonmaleficence is described as causing or doing no harm to the patient.
17. a. HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
18. e. Every patient has a right to privacy, and the dental office should never reveal any personal information about the patient. This is known as confidentiality.
19. a. Even though the patient pays for the radiographs, the radiographs and clinical record are owned by the dentist. Patients can have radiographs and clinical records copied or transferred to another dentist if they request this in writing and pay a transfer fee.
20. b. The proper way of correcting a charting error is to draw a straight line through the mistaken entry and to begin anew on the next line. Charting should never be completed in pencil or erasable ink, and correction fluid should never be used.
21. b. Every patient must have his or her own chart.
22. b. The patient’s clinical record includes radiographs, periodontal charting, tooth charting, referrals to other dentists, prescriptions, and lab requests. Financial documents are not part of the clinical chart.
23. a. Dental professionals are mandated to report any suspected child, elder, or spousal abuse. Reporting such abuse can help the patient to receive assistance.
24. b. When a dentist refuses to treat a patient based on the patient’s medical history, this is considered to be discrimination.
25. a. All chart entries should be made in non-erasable ink, dated, and signed by both the dental assistant and the dentist performing the treatment (except in those cases where the dentist works alone).
26. a. An informed consent form must be discussed with and signed by the patient if the treatment plan extends longer than one year.
27. b. Even if the dentist authorizes the dental assistant to perform an illegal function, it is still a criminal act. Punishment may include a fine or other penalty.
28. a. When a patient enters a dental office for an examination, it is considered implied consent.
29. b. All broken or cancelled appointments must be noted in the patient’s chart, regardless of whether there is a charge for the appointment.
30. a. The presentation of a treatment plan includes the explanation of the benefits, risks, and alternatives of treatment.
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