The dental hygiene program is a part of the U-M School of Dentistry. Founded in 1875, the school consistently ranks as one of the best in the country. The program includes many specialty clinics providing a wide variety of patient experiences. Interaction with dental students and faculty further broadens the dental hygiene experience. Research also plays a role within the program and involves several primary areas:
- periodontal disease progression
- quality of life issues related to oral health
- educational research in case-based instruction, online and peer-assisted learning
Public demand for dental services has created excellent opportunities for those interested in a career in dental hygiene. The dental hygienist is a member of the oral health team and is responsible for a wide range of services related to the provision of oral health care and patient education.
The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program is to promote optimal oral health through education, research and service. To achieve its mission, the Dental Hygiene program will:
- Educate dental hygienists in the current theory and practice of the profession so they may provide the best standard of care to all segments of the population
- Conduct research related to oral health and dental hygiene
- Serve the University and profession by disseminating knowledge and establishing linkages to promote oral health and dental hygiene
- Foster diversity in education, patient care, research and health policy
The dental hygiene curriculum provides a broad based education in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences, which prepares the graduate for the practice of contemporary dental hygiene and for leadership roles in oral health care of the future. The dental hygiene program at the University of Michigan is structured to confer the baccalaureate degree to all students at the completion of the dental hygiene curriculum. Graduates are prepared not only for the traditional dental hygiene responsibilities as clinician and health educator, but also for the roles as consumer advocate, change agent, researcher, and health care manager/administrator.