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Dental Hygiene

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Dental Hygiene Program - Curriculum & Competencies

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry provides a baccalaureate degree program in dental hygiene, designed to offer students an expanded education resulting in increased career opportunities after graduation. The program consists of a year of prescribed college courses followed by three years of enrollment in the School of Dentistry. During the three years of education in the School of Dentistry, the student will complete the required dental hygiene courses, and additional courses will be offered through the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the schools of Business Administration, Education, and Public Health. At the completion of the program, each student will receive a baccalaureate degree.


Sophomore Year Fall Term

  • 210. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 220. Survey of Dental Hygiene
  • 242. Oral Anatomy
  • 252. Behavioral Science I
  • 272. Dental Practice Emergencies
  • 291. Oral Histology & Embryology
  • 403. Anatomy

Junior Year Fall Term

  • 212. Biochemistry
  • 310. Interpretive Radiology I
  • 312. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 344. Community Dentistry
  • 382. Nutrition
  • 422. Pain Control
  • 429. Dental Pharmacology  

Senior Year Fall Term

  • 250. Introductory Statistics
  • 410. Interpretive Radiology II
  • 414. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 425. Periodontics
  • 446. Scientific Communication
  • 470. Dental Implants
  • Electives*

Sophomore Year Winter Term

  • 209. Radiography
  • 211. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 224. Periodontics
  • 234. Special Patients
  • 243. Head and Neck Anatomy
  • 301. Microbiology
  • 321. Dental Specialties
  • 338. Health Education Methods
  • 350. Microbiology Lab

Junior Year Winter Term

  • 313. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 324. Periodontics
  • 335. Biomaterials
  • 345. Research Methods
  • 362. Gerontological Dental Hygiene
  • 393. General and Oral Pathology
  • 440. Internal Medicine
  • Electives*

Senior Year Winter Term

  • 415. Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • 430. Practice Management
  • 450. Practicum
  • Electives*

Some of the opportunities provided by the new curriculum include work with special population groups such as the medically compromised, mentally impaired, and geriatric patients. There are also opportunities for independent study and research activities, as well as interaction with other health care professionals. This preparation should increase possible career opportunities in nontraditional settings such as:

  • federal, state, and local health departments
  • hospitals and nursing homes
  • school districts (as a consultant or on the staff)
  • educational programs for dental auxiliary students
  • convalescent hospitals
  • health maintenance organizations
  • private industry


The dental hygiene program is a learning process that takes a student from knowledge to competence. The graduating dental hygiene student must demonstrate competencies in basic and advanced skills, educational methods, and the professional values of an individual ready for a career in dental hygiene (DH) in a variety of settings. These competencies take into consideration that the DH program at the University of Michigan is structured to confer the baccalaureate degree to students at the completion of the dental hygiene curriculum. Graduates are prepared not only for the traditional DH duties of clinician and health educator but also for roles as consumer advocate, change agent, researcher, and health care manager/administrator.