Dental Hygiene  - Exam Prep Course (Pro version)

Following these 7 steps to a passing grade
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Step 1: Welcome and Study Preparation

1b. Download Checklist, Cheat Sheet and Domain Description Material Summary & print a copy of each 

1c. Register for the exam (if you have not yet)
You can apply for the written exam, by filling out the exam application form. 

1d. Purchase & Download your Syllabus Reading Materials

  • Textbooks:  You can buy one or more of the latest dental textbooks from  We try to reference both in the course, but sometimes are only able to find references to one or two of the books (depending on the topic).  Here are the 2 recommended reading books that we frequently reference in the course.  (Note: Since we reference page numbers for the hardcover or paperback, we recommended purchasing either of those options). 
      • Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, 14th edition (we'll refer to this book in the course as CP-DH)
      • Darby’s Comprehensive Review of Dental Hygiene, 9th edition (we'll refer to this book in the course as DC-DH)

NDAEB says these are two of the 5 preferred and recommended resources.

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Step 2:
 Building Your Knowledge

2a. Learn These Key Definitions
We've selected some of what we feel are key definitions/concepts that you should understand.  The list below is by no means comprehensive but, it should give you a good starting point for the dental hygiene topics. 

These flashcards are put in random order.  This will help you to learn the term and not the order of the cards.  If you would like to mix up the cards, simply refresh your browser page and the cards will shuffle.

Note: If you would like to practice these terms in a different way (e.g. match, learn, test), please scroll down to Step 6.


2b.  Review definitions/terms you still don't understand
After practicing with the above set, make a list of all the topics that still confuse you.  Then use the glossary and/or index in your textbook(s) or study materials to read up about those topics. 

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Step 3:  Education

Watch the presentations below and allow me to educate you on my thoughts on the 7 major subjects covered on the exam.  Note: you will still need to read the pages listed in the Domain Description Reading Material PDF that you downloaded in Step 1.  These videos will complement your self-study of that material.  

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Step 4: Exam Simulation

Practice answering sample exam questions by entering the simulator below.   

Independent MCQs

Category 1: Responsibility and Accountability


Category 2: Client and Professional Relationships


Category 3: Health & Safety and Practice Management



Category 4: Foundational Knowledge


Category 5: Assessment and Diagnosis


Category 6: Planning


Category 7: Implementation


Category 8: Evaluation


Case Questions

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Step 5:

Based on your exam results above, you should know where your weaknesses are.  To improve in those areas, use the Syllabus reading sections (step 1), flashcard tool (step 2) and educational videos (step 3) to cover your knowledge gaps.  Then try some more practice questions in this course or throughout your dental textbooks.  

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Step 6: Repeat (& Practice)

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the day before your exam.  In addition, I've put the flashcard terms (from Step 2) in this interactive tool directly below.  This will allow you to learn the terms in a bunch of new and interactive ways.  

Note: The dental terms in the tool below have been taken from the flashcards.  As a result, some study methods will work better than others.  Use the "Chose a Study Mode" drop-down to navigate between the modules and the "Options" button to change how each is presented. 

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Step 7: Write the 4-hour Exam

Here are a few things to remember on exam day:

  • Arrive 15 to 30 minutes early.
  • Bring your letting of admission.
  • Bring 1 piece of government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver's licence or passport). 
  • Bring 2 HB pencils and an eraser.

After you write your exam, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief that your studying is over.  What's next?  Your results will be ready in 6 weeks through the candidate portal.   

additional resources

Additional Resources

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

Diane - dental assisting course instructor

I really hope that this Dental Assisting course has made your preparation easier and perhaps a little more fun.  If you have questions about this exam or would like to suggest an improvement, I encourage you to contact me.  I wish you all the best in your upcoming career as a dental assistant.


Diane Grzela