What Are the Core Courses of a Dental Hygienist Degree Program?

Because a dental hygienist works in a number of different environments, degree programs include both direct patient care and coursework on the administrative side of dental care. In addition to the technique classes the student can add electives, such as dental health education, pharmacology and community dental health. Schools offering Dental Hygiene degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of the Courses of a Dental Hygienist Degree Program

When reviewing dental hygienist degree programs, the student should make certain that the school is accredited with the American Dental Association's Commission on Accreditation. The curriculum should include both classroom courses and a practicum or clinical component. Listed below are a few of the common courses.

Important Facts About the Dental Hygienist Degree Program

Programs Expanded Functions for the Dental Auxiliary program
Degree Levels Undergraduate and graduate
Prerequisites Immunization records
Possible Careers Periodontics, implant dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics

Prerequisite Courses in Dental Hygiene

Most dental hygienist degree programs require preliminary study in biology, math, chemistry and anatomy. Once admitted to a program, the core courses will be similar in subject matter regardless of the school or institution selected. Typically, an associate's degree coursework will focus on the theory and practice of dental hygiene, while an advanced degree's curriculum will add upper division classes in specialized areas of interest and general studies coursework.

Anatomy and Physiology

The dental hygienist student will study anatomy of the head, neck and jaw, and will learn terminology and functions of the bones and muscles. Typical classes include:

  • Oral anatomy
  • Histology
  • Head and neck anatomy
  • Periodontics

Dental Hygienists' Tools and Equipment

Since the dental hygienist will often be responsible for obtaining x-rays of the teeth, classes in oral radiography may be included in the core curriculum. Some dental practices include processes that require proficiency with other tools and equipment. These include whitening, preparation of molds and monitoring of braces.

Administrative Duties of a Dental Hygienist

Some smaller practices require a dental hygienist to perform various office management tasks. As a result, many programs include coursework on record keeping and staff supervision. Business communications and business management classes may also be helpful in the performance of such duties.

Patient Care and Education on Dental Hygiene

A dental hygienist is often responsible for direct interaction with the patient. These are some of the classes that help aspiring dental hygienists to more effectively work with patients:

  • Pharmacology
  • Pain management
  • Community dental health

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »