Dental Hygiene

The Indiana University School of Dentistry's Dental Hygiene Program offers both an Associate of Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. 

Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene

The Associate of Science program in dental hygiene is a full-time program that is two academic years in length and is composed of a core curriculum of 27 courses presented over four semesters and one summer session.  All courses are mandatory.  The curriculum supports attainment of the following list of competencies expected of a dental hygienist entering the profession.

The graduate will be prepared to:
1. apply a professional code of ethics in all endeavors;
2. adhere to state and federal laws, recommendations, regulations and safety practices in the provision of dental hygiene care;
3. provide dental hygiene care to promote patient/client health and wellness using critical thinking and problem solving in the provision of evidenced-based practice;
4. assume responsibility for dental hygiene actions and care based on accepted scientific theories and research as well as the accepted standard of care;
5. continuously perform self-assessment for life-long learning and professional growth;
6. advance the profession through service activities and affiliations with professional organizations;
7. provide quality assurance mechanisms for health services;
8. communicate effectively with individuals and groups from diverse populations both orally and in writing;
9. provide accurate, consistent and complete documentation for assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation of dental hygiene services;
10. provide care to all clients using an individualized approach that is humane, empathetic and caring;
11. provide planned educational services using appropriate interpersonal communication skills and educational strategies to promote optimal oral health;
12. initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion, health education and disease prevention activities for diverse populations;
13. systematically collect, analyze and record data on the general, oral, and psychosocial health status of a variety of patients/clients using methods consistent with medico-legal principles;
14. use critical decision-making skills to reach conclusions about the patients'/clients' dental hygiene needs based on all available assessment data;
15. collaborate with the patient/client, and/or other health professionals to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is patient/client-centered and based on current scientific evidence;
16. provide specialized treatment that includes preventive and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain oral health; and
17. evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented clinical, preventive and educational services and modify as needed.

DH Curriculum - AS degree

Bachelor of Science program in Public Health Dental Hygiene

The Bachelor of Science program in Public Health Dental Hygiene provides an opportunity for graduate dental hygienists to develop further expertise in public health methods or dental hygiene education and includes application of practical experience.  It is a degree-completion program and may be completed on a part-time basis.  Pre-requisites include completion of 90 semester hours, graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program, satisfactory completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, and current licensure as a dental hygienist.

Students in this program complete a total of 32 semester hours of course work, including five courses composing the required core curriculum.  In addition to the core courses, students must complete 9 semester hours of elective coursework in a chosen focus area (e.g., basic sciences, education, behavioral sciences).

The program's objectives are designed to provide students with the education and skills to:
1. perform dental hygiene services in a variety of settings (e.g. private dental practice, public health clinics, school systems, institutions and hospitals
2. design, implement, and evaluate effective preventive dental health programs for individuals and for groups in such settings as schools, hospitals, institutions and community programs;
3. serve as a resource person and work in cooperation with other health personnel in assessing health care needs and providing health care services to the public;
4. plan, implement, and evaluate effective teaching methodologies in an educational setting;
5. supervise the teaching of dental hygiene services in a clinical/public health setting;
6. prepare for admission to graduate programs; and
7. continue their professional education and personal growth.


An application and further information about the Bachelor of Science program in Public Health Dental Hygiene can be obtained from the Director of the Dental Hygiene Program.  Address communications in writing to Director, Dental Hygiene Program, Indiana University School of Dentistry, 1121 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5186.  You may also call the Dental Hygiene office at (317) 274-7801 for more information about the Bachelor of Science degree program.

BS Program Description