The following paragraphs may or may not be in the most logical order. Each paragraph is numbered in brackets, and Question 45 will ask you to choose where Paragraph 3 should most logically be placed.
Only two or three generations ago, a painful toothache often resulted in an equally painful extraction, permanently leaving an empty Q1 hole where an incisor or molar had once been. Aging often meant eventually losing each tooth, one by one, as decay or breakage took its toll. Many people ended up in the same position as when their lives began, gumming Q2 their food instead of chewing it.
It Q3 wasn’t until the early 1960s that dentistry began looking the way it does today, with its sterile tools, modern equipment, and new techniques. Disposable needles that can be tossed in the trash, Q4 first introduced during World War II, and a better understanding of bacteria and the spread of diseases provided for a much more sterile environment than before. Tools that were not disposable were sterilized with the use of an autoclave, which became a required piece of equipment in any dentist’s office. Q5 The autoclave, or sterilizer, first invented by Charles Chamberland in 1879, is a pressurized container that heats the water inside it above the boiling point, effectively sterilizing any steel instruments inside by using the heat to kill the viruses and bacteria on the instruments. Q6 Today, most dentists use as many disposable tools and materials as possible in an effort to squelch the spread of any viruses or bacteria. Most dental workers will even wear facemasks over their mouths and use plastic gloves as they worked Q7 on a patient.
In many ways, today’s dentists have an easier task before them as the profession has evolved and materials and procedures have improved. On the other hand the constant changes Q8 being made in the dental profession require a dentist to both learn about and incorporate the changes into his or her own practice. Looking back Q9 at the last 50 years of this evolution demonstrates that making these changes can be a daunting challenge. Q10
High speed drills have replaced the foot pump operation of older drills, and more effective water coolers and suction tools have replaced the cruder prototypes used in the early 1900s. The cuspidor has gone mostly by the wayside, replaced by a suction device that the dentist’s assistant uses to remove rinse-water or tooth fragments from the patient’s mouth. X-ray equipment has also greatly improved over the past several decades; X-ray Q11 machines are now much safer and easier to operate, as well as more compact in size. The dental chair has also undergone radical changes over the years, because it would allow Q12 greater comfort for the patient and easier access for the dentist.
Dental procedures and techniques likewise improved dramatically during the second half of the twentieth century after 1950. Q13 New anesthetic methods add to patient comfort, an essential component in any successful dental procedure. The physician can choose from a variety of numbing options, depending on the patient and the procedure being done. Preserving teeth, rather than simply extracting them when damaged, is the goal of most dentists today. Dental amalgams, silicates, and gold and porcelain crowns have all become easier to work with and are much more durable. Q14