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Oral Health Care: A Whole New Language


Patricia A. Frese, RDH, MEd

Credit Hours:

3 Hour(s)


This course is intended for anyone new to the field of oral health care: dental assisting, dental therapy, dental hygiene, dentistry, dental laboratory technology, or anyone already in the field who would like a dental vocabulary refresher....

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This course is intended for anyone new to the field of oral health care: dental assisting, dental therapy, dental hygiene, dentistry, dental laboratory technology, or anyone already in the field who would like a dental vocabulary refresher. The most commonly used terms in oral health care will be defined. The professionals associated with oral health care will be discussed. Useful prefixes and suffixes often used to create dental/medical words are presented, as are some common abbreviations.

Although there are many medical terminology textbooks and programs available, they are somewhat daunting in their scope since they cover wide ranges of information. The intent of this course is not to provide a dictionary or a comprehensive medical terminology course, but a short course that will limit itself to the words, phrases, prefixes, suffixes and abbreviations that a beginning oral health care provider needs to know. Websites that will provide additional information and links are also included.

  • Intended Audience:

    Dental Hygienists, Dental Assistants, Office Managers, Dental Students, Dental Hygiene Students, Dental Assisting Students

  • Date Course Online:

    Mar 26, 2001

  • Last Revision Date:

    Oct 18, 2022

  • Course Expiration Date:

    Oct 17, 2025

  • Cost:


  • Method:


  • AGD Subject Code(s):


Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe elements of oral health care.
  • Delineate roles and responsibilities of the individuals who provide oral health care.
  • Identify roles and responsibilities of oral health care support personnel.
  • Define the specialty areas of dentistry and dental hygiene.
  • Define terms that describe oral anatomic structures.
  • Define terms that describe locations.
  • Define dental terminology commonly used in dentistry.
  • Utilize root words, prefixes and suffixes of words commonly used in dentistry.
  • Interpret abbreviations commonly used in dental patient treatment records.
  • Discuss the power of words.


  • P&G is providing these resource materials to dental professionals. We do not own this content nor are we responsible for any material herein.
  • Participants must always be aware of the hazards of using limited knowledge in integrating new techniques or procedures into their practice.  Only sound evidence-based dentistry should be used in patient therapy.

Note:  Registration is required to take test.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

  • Patricia Frese reports no conflicts of interest associated with this course. She has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Patricia A. Frese

Patricia A. Frese


Patricia Frese is Professor Emerita of the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been in education since 1980. She is a 1976 graduate of the dental hygiene program at Raymond Walters College (now UC Blue Ash). S...

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Submission Information

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Submission For credit transfers to appear in your AGD account in real time, make sure to add your AGD membership number in the field provided on the “Share Your Test Score” page.

CE Broker For all states that use CE Broker for licensure, “proof of completions” are electronically reported the first of every month. If a course was taken in November, the “proof of completion” will be submitted the beginning of December.



ADA CERP Recognized Provider

The Procter & Gamble Company is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Concerns or complaints about a dental CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at

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Approved PACE Program Provider


Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.

Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.

8/1/2021 to 7/31/2027

Provider ID# 211886


AADH Approved Program Provider

Procter & Gamble is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPGC (January 1, 2022-December 31, 2023). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.