ADAA View Course


It is difficult to believe that preventive dentistry has only been in practice for approximately fifty years in the United States. Prior to the 1960s, dentistry entailed mostly emergency appointments and extraction of teeth. Today, dentistry in the United States includes many different preventive practices, such as prophylaxis, fluoride treatments, full-mouth and bite-wing radiographs, sealants and other forms of primary preventive treatments used to prevent dental caries and periodontal disease. Although preventive dentistry is common practice in the United States, currently dental caries affects more than 25% of U.S. children aged 2-5 years and approximately 50% of children 12-15 years old. One fourth of adults aged 65 and older are edentulous. Each year more than 7,800 Americans die from oral and pharyngeal cancers and about 36,500 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed this year. This course includes preventive topic areas that are important for the dental professional to know as they care for their patients.


Connie Myers Kracher, PhD, MSD

Connie Myers Kracher is a Associate Professor of Dental Education, Chair of the Department of Dental Education and the Director of the Dental Assisting Program at Indiana University - Purdue University, Fort Wayne. She holds a PhD from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida and a Master of Science in Dentistry from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in Oral Biology. Dr. Kracher is a frequent contributor to the Dental Assistant Journal and is the author of three ADAA courses: Sports Related Dental Injuries & Sports Dentistry, Oral Health Maintenance of Dental Implants, and Blood Pressure Guidelines and Screening Techniques.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Identify the two bacteria most often associated with dental caries.
• Understand terms used in caries prediction.
• Understand the caries process.
• Explain the general approach of caries risk assessment.
• Determine the cause of each pathology.
• Identify the typical visual cues for each pathology.
• Know useful clinical information for each pathology.
• Describe treatment for each pathology.
• Understand clinical significances of each pathology.
• Explain the recommended treatment plan for cancer patients.
• Define dental plaque.
• Explain the process of plaque formation.
• Discuss manual and powered toothbrushes.
• Describe the various toothbrushing techniques.
• Identify the correct toothbrushing technique for the individual patient.
• Describe the two flossing methods.
• Identify which patients require auxiliary aids.
• Identify multiple sources of fluoride.
• Determine on an individual basis if a patient needs a professional fluoride application.
• Differentiate between pre-eruptive and post-eruptive fluoride.
• Identify the three types of professional fluoride.
• Understand the concept of fluoride uptake in enamel.
• Discuss root surface caries treatment options.
• Describe the application of fluoride.
• Discuss fluoride varnishes.
• Identify foods that are considered cariogenic.
• Identify foods that are considered to be non-or low-acidogenic.
• Soda consumption in the United States.
• The criteria for selecting teeth for sealant placement.
• The two types of sealant material.
• List the four commandments for successful sealant retention.
• Describe the sealant procedure.
• Sports that should use mouthguards.
• Identify which types of jaw fractures are more common.
• Which type of crown and root fractures are more common.
• The treatment necessary when an emergency occurs with primary teeth.
• The treatment necessary when an emergency occurs with permanent teeth.
• List the types of soft tissue dental injuries that can occur with sports.
• Identify the types of mouthguards available. 


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.

This course has been produced in part by a grant from the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation.


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