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Dental Hygiene

UM Dental Hygiene Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program is to promote optimal oral health in a culturally sensitive manner 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.

Program Philosophy

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 unique in that it 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.

Program Goals and Competencies

Goal #1: Develop the basis for ethical and professional behavior and service.

Competency 1-1
The graduating student provides dental hygiene care using the highest professional knowledge and ethical principles.

Competency 1-2
The graduating student practices within the context of the appropriate state Dental Practice Act.

Competency 1-3
The graduating student advocates for the well-being of the public and advances the profession of dental hygiene through participation and affiliation with professional and community organizations.

Goal #2: Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive oral health care for diverse populations in all ages and stages of life.

Competency 2-1
The graduating student demonstrates and applies knowledge of psychosocial, biomedical, dental and dental hygiene sciences.

Competency 2-2
The graduating student identifies individual risk factors and develops educational strategies that promote patient self-care in disease prevention and health promotion.

Competency 2-3
The graduating student uses the dental hygiene process of care to formulate a comprehensive care plan based on assessment data and in collaboration with other health care professionals as appropriate.

Competency 2-4
The graduating student provides each patient with evidence-based preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene care to assist the patient in attaining and maintaining oral health.

Competency 2-5
The graduating student demonstrates effective interpersonal skills to establish rapport with patients and other health care providers in delivering dental hygiene care.

Goal #3: Foster in students an appreciation for the scientific method and life long learning.

Competency 3-1
The graduating student uses critical thinking and self-assessment skills to prepare for and engage in life-long learning.

Competency 3-2
The graduating student uses the scientific method to evaluate scientific literature and uses an evidence-based approach to patient care.

Goal #4: Provide students experiences in community health care settings.

Competency 4-1
The graduating student assesses, plans, implements, and evaluates community-based oral health programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.

Competency 4-2
The graduating student provides oral health care to a diverse patient population in community-based settings.



  • 210. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 220. Leadership & Professionalism
  • 242. Oral Anatomy
  • 243. Head & Neck Anatomy
  • 272. Dental Practice Emergencies
  • 338. Health Education Methods


  • 209. Radiography
  • 211. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 224. Periodontics I
  • 252. Behavioral Science
  • 291. Histology & Embryology
  • 344. Community Dentistry


  • 234. Special Patients
  • 312. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 323. Cariology
  • 362. Gerontological Dental Hygiene
  • 393. General & Oral Pathology
  • 429. Dental Pharmacology
  • 450. Service Learning


  • 313. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 324. Periodontics II
  • 345. Research Methods
  • 422. Pain Control
  • Required Elective


  • 310. Interpretive Radiology
  • 321. Dental Specialty
  • 335. Biomaterials
  • 414. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 416. Intraprofessional Education*
  • 446. Scientific Communication
  • 503. Skills for Patient and Family-Centered Care*


  • 382. Nutrition
  • 415. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 425. Periodontics III
  • 430. Practice Management
  • 440. Internal Medication
  • Board Review

* Required Elective

Dental Hygiene Course Descriptions (pdf)