4 Great Resources to Help You Study Dental Assistant Terms

dental assistant terminology, photo of dental assistant student and teacherLearning the new terminology can be half the battle!

When you begin a dental assistant school, it may be a little intimidating. This may be the first time you’ve been in a classroom since high school, and the thought of homework and tests might be daunting. But never fear! Your instructors are here to help you. They want you to succeed. They want your career training experience to prepare you with the skills you need for your new career.

Most dental assistant training programs begin with a terminology course in which you need to learn about dental anatomy and dental terminology. It might feel like learning a new language at first, but soon enough, you will become comfortable with the new terms.

Below are four resources that are geared toward helping you become more comfortable with dental assisting terminology. You may also benefit from pneumonic devices as you are studying for exams. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these resources, and choose whichever works best for you.

American Dental Association Glossary
The ADA’s glossary of dental and administrative terms is very complete. It includes both dental terms as well as administrative terms. The administrative terms are terms that apply to dental office administration or dental insurance issues. You can search this glossary by clicking on the appropriate letter, or simply by using your browser’s “Find” command (usually “Control F”) and typing in the term you are seeking.

WebMD glossary of dental health terms
This is a full A-Z glossary of hundreds of dental health terms. There are 12 pages worth of terms, so you may have to do some clicking to find what you are looking for, but it offers good descriptions and a thorough list of terms.

This website provides flashcards relating to dental assisting. You can study, memorize, quiz yourself, and then play games on the site. They offer two sets of flashcards: Dental Assisting Basics and Dental Chairside Assisting Instruments.

Quizlet is another source of free flashcards that can help you study for your dental assistant exams. It’s free to set up an account and track your progress over time. Flashcards are good study tools that help you memorize the terms you need in this career field.

With these web resources in your toolkit, we hope that learning the new “language” of dental assisting comes easily to you. And remember, if you are having trouble, don’t hesitate to speak with your instructor. He or she may have other suggestions to help you in your classes and coursework. Best of luck to you in your new career!


This article was provided by the Harris School of Business, with locations near Philadelphia, PA, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware. Our dental assisting program—offered in Upper Darby, PA, Voorhees, NJ, and Wilmington, DE— is proud to be preparing the dental assistants of the future! Get in touch if you want to find out more!