The Department of Dentistry offers a Diploma in Dental Hygiene and a Bachelor of Science (Dental Hygiene Specialization). The Dental Hygiene Program enables students to acquire knowledge and develop skills so that they may assume responsibility in clinical practice, health promotion, education, community health care, and research.
The dental hygienist is an integral member of the health care team and strives to improve oral health by providing preventive services and educational information to the public. Clinical dental hygiene services may include assessing patients’ health status, inspecting hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity, removing deposits and stains from teeth, exposing and developing dental radiographs, applying topical fluorides, administering anaesthetic, taking impressions for study models, and polishing amalgam restorations. Educational information may include nutritional and oral hygiene counselling and community dental health program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
The dental hygienist with a baccalaureate degree is a leader in developing and initiating oral health interventions that prevent and control oral disease and promote oral wellness. The ultimate goal of a baccalaureate program is to educate professionals who contribute significantly to the improvement of oral health.
Bachelor of Science (Dental Hygiene Specialization) graduates are more fully prepared to work in a large number of settings including, but not limited to private dental practices, research, education, industry, health care institutions or health promotion agencies. This degree prepares graduates to pursue post baccalaureate or graduate programs.
The Dental Hygiene curriculum includes courses from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. During second, third and fourth year, students participate in field experiences in various community settings, such as hospitals, schools, and community agencies/clinics. Experience in an external clinic is required.
In addition to the Diploma curriculum consisting of a preprofessional year and years 2 and 3, Bachelor of Science (Dental Hygiene Specialization) students will complete a fourth year. During the fourth year, students will learn the foundation of research, expand their knowledge in health promotion utilizing principles and theories of learning, health care organization theory and interdisciplinary ethics. In preparation for the leadership and management roles, skills are enhanced through the didactic and dental hygiene clinical program. Additionally, the program will provide students with advanced practice opportunities.
The Dental Hygiene Program is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation Education of Canada. Successful students must complete the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination (Canadian). Successful students in the Dental Hygiene Program are encouraged to write the National Board Dental Hygiene Examinations of the American Dental Association.
Further details may be obtained from the Director of the Dental Hygiene Program, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.