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Dental Hygienists (RDH) are credentialed and licensed health professionals who serve integral roles in the delivery of health care, including preventive dental services, nonsurgical periodontal instrumentation, patient/family/community education, nutritional counseling, and tobacco cessation referral.
Graduates of the dental hygiene program enter the profession with the ability to:
- Adhere to the professional Code of Ethics, state and federal laws, and institutional policy in the provision of dental hygiene care and in other endeavors whenever applicable
- Perform self-assessment for life-long learning and professional growth
- Provide accurate documentation of the assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation phases of the dental hygiene process of care in patient care and community settings for the promotion of health and prevention of disease
- Effectively communicate with individuals and groups from diverse populations in a humane, empathetic, and caring manner while participating in campus, extramural, and community clinical rotations
- Relate the dental hygiene process of care to the research process by using critical thinking and problem solving in the provision of evidence-based practice and accepted standards of care
- Contribute actively to the dental hygiene knowledge base by presenting scientific research
- Advance the dental hygiene profession and establish social networks through service activities and affiliations with professional organizations
- Identify the various roles of dental hygienists and the alternative career options available in settings such as health care institutions, industry, education, and research
Skills and Interests Suited to a Career in Dental Hygiene
Dental hygienists should be caring, enjoy being with others, have good communication skills, have some ability to teach and enjoy working with their hands.
Related fields include nursing, medical technology, radiologic technologies, occupational therapy and dental laboratory technology.
After successfully completing the National and State Board Dental Hygiene examinations, the dental hygienist is licensed to practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist in various settings. Employment opportunities include private dental practice, public health (governmental agencies, health agencies or special institutions), public school programs, industry and dental hygiene education. Dental hygiene offers opportunities for full-time or part-time employment.
Please note that application for a dental hygiene license in many states shall constitute consent for performance of a criminal background check. Applicants for licensure must provide any and all information necessary to run a criminal background check, including but not limited to classifiable sets of fingerprints. If relevant, applicants to the program should consult the dental board in the state that they wish to practice for additional information related to criminal background.
The expected beginning salary range for graduates in clinical practice is $38,000–$45,000 per year.
About the Program
The program is a “2+2,” meaning the student completes the first two years at any accredited college or university of choice, and the last two years on campus. All students begin the program fall semester of their junior year. The program includes classroom, laboratory and clinical education.
Policies on blood borne and infectious diseases are strictly enforced in the program. These policies are available to applicants for admission and for patients treated in the dental hygiene clinics.
Please see the Office of Academic Admissions website for specific admissions information: http://gru.edu/admissions/hs-programs/dental-hygiene.php
In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards. Visit www.gru.edu/alliedhealth/hygiene/tech standards.htm to review these requirements.
The university participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. The university helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.
Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Estimated Tuition and Fees
For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Financial Information section of this catalog.
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Program Curriculum