ACT English Practice Test 90: Modern Dentistry

DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for the underlined part. In most cases, you are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE.” In some cases, you will find in the right-hand column a question about the underlined part. You are to choose the best answer to the question.

You will also find questions about a section of the passage, or about the passage as a whole. These questions do not refer to an underlined portion of the passage, but rather are identified by a number or numbers in a box.

For each question, choose the alternative you consider best and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. For many of the questions, you must read several sentences beyond the question to determine the answer. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

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.

Modern Dentistry


Only two or three generations ago, a painful toothache often resulted in an equally painful extraction, permanently leaving 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 their food instead of chewing it.


wasn't until the early 1960s that dentistry began looking the way it does today, with its sterile tools, modern equipment, and new techniques.

, 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. 35 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. 36 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 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.

being made in the dental profession require a dentist to both learn about and incorporate the changes into his or her own practice. at the last 50 years of this evolution demonstrates that making these changes


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 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, 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 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.


B. a gaping
C. somewhat of a
D. DELETE the underlined portion.


G. began; gumming
H. began. Gumming
J. began gumming


B. However, it
C. For example, it
D. In the meantime, it


G. Disposable needles designed to be thrown away
H. Disposable needles that can be tossed out
J. Disposable needles

5. The writer is considering deleting the phrase which became a required piece of equipment in any dentist's office from the preceding sentence (ending the sentence with autoclave). Should the phrase be kept or deleted?

A. Kept, because it emphasizes the universal importance of the device in modern dentistry.
B. Kept, because it clarifies the term autoclave and contributes to the logic of the paragraph.
C. Deleted, because the paragraph has already stated that modern dentist offices had become more sterile.
D. Deleted, because it draws attention away from teeth and places it on equipment.

6. The writer is considering deleting the phrase by using the heat to kill the viruses and bacteria on the instruments from the preceding sentence (and placing a period after the word inside). Should the phrase be kept or deleted?

F. Kept, because it clarifies the claim made in first part of the sentence.
G. Kept, because it strengthens the paragraph's focus on viruses and bacteria.
H. Deleted, because the essay is mainly about dentistry, not spreading diseases.
J. Deleted, because the phrase fails to add new or useful information.


B. work
C. have worked
D. working


G. On the other hand; the constant changes
H. On the other hand, the constant changes
J. On the other hand, the constant changes,


B. In looking back
C. While looking back
D. Whereas looking back

10. Given that all the choices are true, which one best clarifies the distinction between today's dentists and the ones of 50 years ago?

G. pushes today's dentists to the limits of their training.
H. is difficult.
J. involves all aspects of dentistry.


B. decades, X-ray
C. decades X-ray
D. decades, and making X-ray


G. since it allows for the
H. allowing
J. which would be allowing


B. century, after 1950.
C. century, after 1950 and later.
D. century.

14. Given that all the choices are true, which one concludes the paragraph with a precise and detailed description that relates to the main topic of the essay?

G. Sunny smiles and happy patients are finally brightening dentist offices across the country.
H. Over time, even more improvements can be expected.
J. Hardly any patients need dentures anymore, which means people can go to the dentist less often.

15. Question below asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

For the sake of the logic and coherence of this essay, Paragraph 3 should be placed:

A. where it is now.
B. after Paragraph 1.
C. after Paragraph 4.
D. after Paragraph 5.