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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.

 Learn in a state-of-the-art facility.

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 the 3-year or 4-year program. 

  • The UNH 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.
  • 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.  

Intern here or overseas.

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
  • VA Connecticut Healthcare System
  • StayWell Community Health Center
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, Department of Dentistry
  • Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury

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 — working on Cherokee and Navajo reservations in North Carolina and Arizona and in foreign locations such as Romania, Honduras, and Mexico.

Our A.S. in Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The ADA is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education

Read what our students have said:

“UNH’s dental hygiene program offers a 5 to 1 ratio of students to faculty, which allows for a more effective learning environment. The faculty members went above and beyond any expectations I had for my degree and consistently made themselves available after hours.”

– Amber Augur '10

“My experience with the UNH Dental Hygiene program was very positive and motivating. Instructors challenge their students to critically problem solve and also encourage them as they develop their ability to manage patients individually — a skill that is vital for success in the working world.”

– Miranda Brooks '10

“I’m excited to report that I just passed my national boards! I want to thank all of my professors in the dental hygiene program for their support, encouragement, and the faith they showed in me. Even when I wanted to give up they always gave me the boost I needed to keep going! I’m extremely proud to be a UNH alum and will always strive, through my hard work and ethics, to be a great representative of this outstanding school."

– Jessica Reyes '14

"Today, I found out I passed my National Boards! I am so excited! I just wanted to let you and the other instructors know. Thank you for everything, and please tell everyone thank you for helping me and supporting me throughout school. It has been a long and difficult journey, and I can't believe I finally made it this far.  I am so blessed to have had great instructors, and honestly I learned from the best! I will keep in touch, and I will definitely seek your advice and guidance if or when I decide to get my masters! Thank you for everything, and thank you for believing in me! I think you and the rest of the UNH dental hygiene staff are the most wonderful and supportive instructors and staff ever. You all truly believe in helping your students, and know what is best for them. I am so blessed to have gotten to know you all, and learn from all of you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help future students, or anything at all. I am applying for my license right away, and I can't wait to start the job hunt! Thank you for everything! Miss you, and miss all of the other instructors!"

 -Erica Meister '14
B.S., Dental Hygiene 

  1. Program Description

  2. Associate Description