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Dental Hygiene

A dental hygienist does much more than clean and polish teeth. By helping to prevent cavities and gum disease, dental hygienists guard their patients’ overall health. Gum disease can lead to serious heart problems, for instance.

The dental hygienist’s keen eye can also spot changes that may indicate oral cancer. Our dental hygiene programs — some of the finest in the country — will qualify you to practice in this important field.

Dental Hygiene Student Working in the Lab

Learn with current technology.

You’ll get your clinical education in the UNH Dental Center, which includes:

  • The latest technological advances in dental hygiene standards and infection control 
  • Nineteen patient treatment stations with chair-side computers
  • Radiology and dental materials laboratories
  • A cutting-edge instrument transfer and central sterilization area. 
  • Lecture room
  • Multimedia computers, complete with an assortment of instructional programs to help you in your studies.
  • Additional faculty-led tutorial sessions
  • Peer tutors

Choose your program. 

  • The three-year associate’s program. Our dental hygiene program is one of the few in the U.S. to offer a three-year associate’s degree. At the end of program, you will be ready for all necessary board examinations and then employment in a dental office. Our A.S. in Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.
  • The four-year bachelor’s program. Enroll in the four-year program from the start, or defer your decision — that is, earn your associate’s degree, and decide later if you want to complete the bachelor’s with one additional year of study. This is possible because the first three years of the associate’s and bachelor’s programs are identical.
  • The dental hygiene degree completion program. This is the program that leads to the B.S. with one more year of study. We designed the program to include practicing dental hygienists who are graduates of associate’s degree programs. You can transfer credits from an accredited dental hygiene program and use your academic and work experience as the basis for completing coursework that leads to the bachelor’s degree. All degree completion program courses are offered on-line.

All of our programs have one thing in common:  They are rigorous. That rigor will make you a top-notch professional in the field and highly attractive to employers.  

Dental Hygiene Student with Patient

Get hands-on experience in the field -- before your graduate.

You’ll have the chance to test your mettle in the real world long before you graduate. After starting in our on-campus clinic, you’ll rotate to off-campus locations that include:

  • A U.S. military dental clinic
  • School-based dental clinic, Drigg’s Elementary School, Waterbury, CT
  • United Community & Family Services
  • StayWell Community Health Center
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, Department of Dentistry

Then, if you enroll in the bachelor’s completion program after receiving your A.S. at UNH, you’ll have some amazing academic service study away/study abroad opportunities — such as working on Cherokee and Navajo reservations in North Carolina and Arizona. Click to learn more about our internship and study away opportunities.

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