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Top 5: Latin Terminology for Dental School

When a student joins the medical world, be it as a student physician or dentist or veterinary, there is a whole new language to learn. Bio-scientific and medical terminology mainly derives it roots from Latin and Greek. Now I am assuming that you know some basic Latin and Greek derivatives if you are visiting this page... such as "-itis" and all that. So lets get on with it!

Top 5 Latin and Greek Stems of Medical Terminology to Know for Students

1. ENTER(o) - "intestine" (Greek)
Enterobacteria, Anenterous, Enterolysis... etc. You'll know a word with this stem refers to something to do with the intestines! Keep in mind that this usually refers to the small intestines.

2. HEPAT - or HEPAR - "liver" (Greek)
Hepatitis, Heparin, Hepatolysin... these conditions or descriptions refer to those related to the liver.

3. SQUAM - "scale" (Latin)
Mainly squamous, which refers to flat, nucleated, simple epithelium (or top most, or skin-like layer).

4. STAPHYL - "bunch of grapes" (Greek)
It's good to remember the main pathogens or organisms that can invade and infect the body. Staphylococcus aureus is a prime example. So now you know that Staph looks like a bunch of grapes under a light microscope. Good to know actually.

5. STEAR - or STEAT - "fat" (Greek)
Ever heard of steatorrhea? You might have guessed it: diarrhea with fat in it.


  1. gnatos: Jaw (maxilla/mandible)
    Dens-Dente: tooth
    Pro/retro: buccal/lingual - forward/backward

  2. -algia: pain/ache
    peri-: around/about
    -oma: tumor
    itis: inflamation
    -otomy: cutting into/incision into

  3. Thanks for adding these excellent terms FELIPE!


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