Back to Top
Top Nav Content Site Footer
University Home

School of Dentistry

Philosophy

Policies
Academic Policies Handbook

The Philosophy and Goals of the Professional phase of the Dental Hygiene Program reflect those of the University and School of Dentistry. The Philosophy encompasses the areas of teaching, service, patient care and scholarship.

The teaching philosophy of this Program is to prepare students who strive for excellence and ethical conduct in the provision of comprehensive dental hygiene care. A state of the science curriculum integrates the biophysical, clinical, and psychosocial sciences and facilitates the development of a knowledge-based practitioner. Patient care focuses on the individual needs of each patient and actively involves the patient in the treatment process to promote positive, long-term changes in health status. To prepare the dental hygienist for a dynamic interdisciplinary health care system, both didactic and clinical experiences explore practice in a variety of settings and with culturally diverse patients of all ages and health status. An atmosphere of mutual trust and respect increases the opportunity for instructor evaluation of student performance and improves the quality of feedback. Student self-evaluation is encouraged as a step toward becoming a practitioner who continually appraises the quality of his/her patient care. The student advising and remediation program allows for individualization of the curriculum and promotes intellectual growth. The challenging, collegiate atmosphere fosters the development of dental hygienists who are intellectually curious, critical thinkers and lifelong learners. The exposure to the humanities provides the student with the flexibility to adapt to societal change and to contribute to the community.

The Professional phase of the Dental Hygiene Program has a service philosophy to the University, the School of Dentistry, the students, the public and the profession of dental hygiene. The educational program graduates competent dental hygienists who are engaged in health care, education, research, and professional leadership nationwide. The provision of quality patient care is of primary importance in the dental hygiene teaching clinics at the School of Dentistry and the various community sites. Continuing education in changing concepts of dental health care is offered to health care professionals. A commitment to the education of the public and the profession is demonstrated by student and faculty involvement in the community and professional activities.

The scholarship philosophy is to conduct educational and clinical research to further develop the body of dental hygiene knowledge. This philosophy is facilitated by a commitment to the professional development of each faculty member. Faculty keep current and exchange instructional methodologies and research findings through oral presentations and written publications.

  •  

    Goals for the Professional phase of the Dental Hygiene Program

    • Prepare a qualified dental hygienist who will be competent with respect to the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, Dental Hygiene Program Competencies for the Dental Hygienist.
    • Maintain a contemporary dental hygiene program that reflects relevant and current dental hygiene practice.
    • Provide a dynamic interdisciplinary dental and dental hygiene curriculum that integrates biomedical, clinical and behavioral sciences.
    • Maintain recruitment activities and admission policies that ensure admission and retention of a diverse and qualified student body.
    • Maintain a baccalaureate degree completion program to support and encourage continued formal dental hygiene education.
    • Provide quality individualized patient centered dental hygiene care.
    • Participate in collaborative community health promotion.
    • Serve as a resource of oral health knowledge and education for the health care community.
    • Engage in professional association activities.
    • Demonstrate leadership in dental hygiene education and research.
    • Provide service to the School of Dentistry and the university communities.
  •  

    Competencies For The Dental Hygienist

    Preamble

    Competencies for the University of Detroit Mercy Dental Hygiene Graduate identifies and organizes the knowledge and skills the graduate must acquire to become a competent practitioner in dental hygiene.  The document also reflects a curriculum that is patient driven, competency based and criterion referenced.

    The dental hygienist is an integral member of the oral health care team collaboratively practicing evidence-based comprehensive dental hygiene care with the ultimate goal of improving the health of society. The dental hygienist must have a foundation in biomedical science and strong clinical skills as well as demonstration of professional and ethical behavior, and effective communication and interpersonal skills. In addition, he/she must have the ability to evaluate and utilize emerging technologies, continuing professional development opportunities and problem-solving and critical thinking skills to effectively address current and future issues in health care.

    As used in this document, a competency is a complex behavior or ability essential for the dental hygienist to begin the practice of dental hygiene. Competency includes knowledge, experience, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, professionalism, ethical values, and technical and procedural skills. These components become an integrated whole during the delivery of patient care by the competent dental hygienist. Competency assumes that all behaviors are performed with a degree of quality consistent with patient well-being and that the dental hygienist can self-evaluate treatment effectiveness. In competency-based dental education, what students learn is based upon clearly articulated competencies and further assumes that all behaviors/abilities are supported by foundation knowledge and psychomotor skills in biomedical, behavioral, ethical, clinical dental science and informatics areas that are essential for an entry-level dental hygienist. In creating curricula, faculty members have considered the competencies to be developed through the educational process, the learning experiences that will lead to the development of these competencies, and ways to assess or measure the attainment of competencies.

    Domains:

    • Professionalism
    • Interpersonal Communication Skills to Function Successfully in a Multicultural Work Environment with Diverse Populations
    • Critical Thinking
    • Health Promotion
    • Practice Management and Informatics
    • Patient Care

      1.     Professionalism

    1.1.    Demonstrates personal/professional responsibility to the welfare of society through service activities.

    • Service learning
    • Social justice

    1.2.    Practice within the context of ethical and legal standards in the provision of dental hygiene care.

    • Ethical decision making and conflicting obligations
    • Legal and regulatory principles and standards
    • Practices within the context of professional obligations and jurisdictional Code of Ethics

    1.3.    Participate in professional organizations at the local, state, and/or national level.

    • Organized dental hygiene association activities

    1.4.    Practice within one’s scope of competence, and consults with or refers to professional colleagues when indicated.

    • Self-assessment of competence
    • Demonstration of responsibility and accountability for actions within the various roles of the dental hygienist
    • Standards of care, regulations and policies
    • Communication skills, both orally and in writing, with patients, patients’ families, colleagues, and others with whom other health care providers must exchange information in carrying out their responsibilities
    • Scope of practice of dental hygiene and medical specialties and social support services
    • Identification of community resources for referrals
    • Personal well being
    • Implementation of corrective measures to address personal and professional deficiencies of self

     2.     Interpersonal Communication Skills to Function Successfully in a Multicultural Work Environment with Diverse Populations

    2.1  Apply appropriate interpersonal and communication skills with patients, dental and inter-professional health care team members.

    • Communication theory and skills
    • Interpersonal (one-on-one) communication principles
    • Verbal and nonverbal communication principles
    • Conflict resolution
    • Reflective listening
    • Collaboration with intra/ inter-professional health care team
    • Emotional and behavioral development and sensitivity
    • Physiological and psychological indications of anxiety and fear
    • Addressing patient concerns/issues/problems
    • Behavior modification and motivation techniques
    • Special needs/diversity of patients
    • Health literacy
    • Language barriers
    • Cognitive barriers

    2.2  Apply psychosocial and behavioral principles in patient-centered health care.

    • Counseling skills and motivational interviewing principles
    • Social and behavioral applied sciences
    • Behavior modification
    • Fear and anxiety management
    • Pain management (acute and chronic pain)
    • Geriatrics
    • Special patient needs
    • Cultural competence

    2.3  Communicate effectively with individuals from diverse populations.

    • Influence of culture on health and illness behaviors
    • Influence of culture related to oral health
    • Complementary and alternative therapies
    • Communication with patients, dental and inter-professional team members in a culturally sensitive manner
    • Communication in overcoming language barriers
    • Communication with special needs patients
    • Communication skills to address diversity- related conflict

     3.     Critical Thinking

    3.1  Evaluate and integrate emerging trends in health care and determines their value in dental hygiene practice.

    • Trends in health care
    • Health care policy
    • Economic principles of health care delivery
    • Health care organization and delivery models
    • Quality assessment and quality assurance
    • Demographics of the oral health care relationships
    • Relationship of systemic health to oral health and disease
    • Impact of political and social climate on health care delivery
    • Critically evaluates health care literature
    • Critically evaluates sales and continuing education presentations

    3.2  Utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    • Application of scientific method to clinical problem-solving
    • Evidence-based delivery of oral health care
    • Clinical reasoning skills
    • Diagnostic skills
    • Treatment planning
    • Self-assessment
    • Reading comprehension
    • Verbal and written communication skills
    • Computer literacy
    • Utilization of current information systems to access medical/dental databases/ information

    3.3  Evaluate and integrate best research outcomes with clinical expertise and patient values for evidence-based practice.

    • Application of scientific method to clinical problem-solving
    • Evidence-based delivery of oral health care
    • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
    • Cultural competence
    • Communication skills, verbal and written
    • Reading comprehension
    • Ethics
    • Statistics literacy
    • Computer literacy
    • Utilization of current information systems to access medical/dental/databases/information
    • Epidemiological methods

    4. Health Promotion

    4.1 Provide prevention, intervention, and educational strategies.

    • Patient and family communication
    • Education of patient and/or family
    • Risk assessment
    • Prevention strategies (intervention, motivation, nutrition)
    • Clinical evaluation
    • Utilization of the principles of learning and instruction in patient education

    4.2 Participate with dental team members and other health care professionals in the management and health promotion for all patients.

    • Various practice settings (community settings)
    • Organizational behavior of team
    • Professional communication
    • Collaborative and leadership skills
    • Inter-professional education

    4.3 Apply community dental health principles (assess, plan, implement and evaluate programs) to prevent disease and promote health.

    • Cultural competence
    • Barriers to improving oral health
    • Global health
    • Population trends
    • National and international health goals

    5. Practice Management and Informatics

    5.1 Evaluate and apply contemporary and emerging information including clinical and practice management technology resources.

    • Data analysis for dental hygiene care productivity
    • Basic understanding of computer software
    • Basic computer utilization skills
    • Application of contemporary electronic information systems
    • Computer systems for practice management

    5.2 Apply principles of risk management including informed consent and appropriate record keeping in patient care.

    • Principles of record keeping/documentation
    • Concepts of professional liability
    • Risk management protocols
    • Legal responsibilities in patient care management
    • Legal responsibilities in personnel management
    • Management of patient information
    • Quality assurance

    5.3 Apply business and practice management skills.

    • Employment laws and regulations
    • Identification of career options
    • Demonstration of effective time management skills
    • Assesses patient satisfaction and responds appropriately
    • Effective communication skills
    • Leadership and motivation skills
    • Organizational behavior
    • Data analysis for dental hygiene care productivity

    5.4 Apply quality assurance, assessment, and improvement concepts.

    • Self-assessment for quality improvement
    • Concepts and principles of quality assurance and quality assessment
    • Awareness of continuous professional development (lifelong learning)

    5.5 Comply with local, state, and federal regulations including OSHA and HIPAA.

    • Elements of applicable local, state, and federal regulations
    • Methods of effective application and pursuance of local, state, and federal regulations

    6. Patient Care

    6.1 Obtain, record, update and organize accurate and complete medical/dental histories including pertinent psychological and socioeconomic information.

    • Establishment of a patient dialogue to obtain demographic, medical, family and dental histories, psychological and socioeconomic information relevant to dental hygiene care; and patient expectations and goals for dental hygiene care
    • Establishment of a patient dialogue to obtain and record the chief complaint of the patient and the history of the present illness
    • Establishment of and maintenance of the patient record as an accurate and consistent legal document of patient encounters
    • Identification of the patient’s record including but not limited to medication(s), potential effect(s) on dental and systemic health, and impact on dental treatment
    • Initiation of necessary medical and/or dental consultation or referral in legal media to clarify questions related to the patient’s dental and systemic health

    6.2 Perform, record and organize a physical assessment appropriate for dental hygiene care.

    • Performance and recording of an appropriate physical examination not limited to the head and neck
    • Recording of intraoral examination findings including but not limited to dental charting, periodontal examination and indices
    • Identification of the need and/or performance of and recording of results of other diagnostic procedures and tests
    • Identification of the signs and management of the symptoms of medical emergencies
    • Identification of the signs of physical, psychological, verbal and substance abuse
    • Performance of risk assessments

    6.3 Formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis utilizing and congruent with the dental diagnosis and other health professionals.

    • Interpretation and correlation of examination and assessment findings
    • Determination of the unmet needs of the patient based on analysis of assessment findings
    • Formulation of dental hygiene diagnosis
    • Determination of priorities and establishes oral health goals with the patient and/or family and/or guardian as an active participant
    • Planning of treatments that reflect the impact of behavioral, social and cultural differences in the provision of dental health care
    • Development of dental hygiene care plans that reflect the impact of systemic disease and its management on the provision of dental care
    • Development of dental hygiene care plans consistent with and supportive of the patient’s overall dental treatment plan
    • Establishment of a planned sequence of educational and clinical services that include health promotion, and therapeutic and maintenance care
    • Communication of the plan for dental hygiene care to interdisciplinary health team members to determine its congruence with the overall plan for oral health care

    6.4 Establish a mutually acceptable dental hygiene care plan with the patient.

    • Presentation of findings and/or diagnoses to the patient
    • Explanation of dental hygiene care plan options to patients using understandable and professional terminology
    • Response to patient’s questions and concerns
    • Recording of the final dental hygiene care plan
    • Obtainment of written informed consent

    6.5 Monitor and provide for patient comfort associated with dental hygiene care.

    • Utilization of psychological and/or behavioral techniques to assure patient comfort
    • Utilization of accepted evidence- based clinical techniques to provide for control of pain and anxiety

    6.6 Prevent, recognize and manage medical emergencies and maintain basic life support.

    • Emergency protocols
    • Applied biomedical sciences related to emergency care

    6.7 Utilize current infection control guidelines for all clinical procedures.

    • Local/state/federal regulatory guidelines
    • Current infection control protocols
    • Applied biomedical sciences related to transmission of disease

    Deliver and/or manage the planned dental hygiene evidence-based treatment and education in sequence and in accordance with accepted Standards of Care.

    • Delivery of and/or manages dental hygiene treatment considering the impact of behavioral, social, and cultural manifestations contributing to difficulty
    • Provision of humane and compassionate care to all patients
    • Delivery of and/or manages periodontal therapy utilizing basic and advanced principles of instrumentation
    • Modification of dental hygiene care based on changing patient needs and/or evaluation of achievement of established care plan goals
    • Delivery of and/or manages oral health maintenance care
    • Provision of adjunct dental hygiene services
    • Identification of the need for chemotherapeutic agents, selection and administration of them as appropriate and provision of pre-and post-treatment instructions

    6.9 Evaluate outcomes of comprehensive dental hygiene care and determines an individualized maintenance schedule or additional treatment needs or referral to the appropriate health care provider.

    • Criteria for evaluation
    • Evaluation methods
    • Mechanisms for continuous quality improvement
    • Routine evaluation of professional skills, knowledge, and outcomes of clinical practice
  •  

    Program

    The School of Dentistry at the University of Detroit Mercy offers a Baccalaureate Degree in Dental Hygiene. All students graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Graduates are eligible to take dental hygiene licensing examinations in any of the 50 states and the Provinces of Canada. A Dental Hygiene Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program is also offered for licensed dental hygienists who have a Certificate or Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene. As a unit of the School of Dentistry, students gain exposure to all aspects of dental hygiene and dentistry. The application cycle begins anew each year; there is no wait list.

  •  

    Baccalaureate Degree Requirements (Professional Dental Hygiene Program)

    A candidate for the Bachelor's degree must complete a minimum of 137.5 semester credit hours, minimum quality point averages and senior residency within the following areas:

    • required pre-requisite courses
    • required dental hygiene courses
    • required core curriculum courses
    • any elective courses as needed
  •  

    Required Prerequisite Courses

    Program: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

    The following must be completed before beginning the professional phase of the program. Notice: Prerequisite courses are subject to change. Please consult the Dental Hygiene Program for current requirements.

    • Knowledge Area A: Communication Skills
    • A1:  Oral Communication - CST 1010 Fundamentals of Speech
    • A2:  Written Communication - ENL 1310 Academic Writing

    Knowledge Area B: Mathematical & Statistical Knowledge

    • B1:  Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning – MTH 1010 College Algebra
    • B2:  Statistical & Probabilistic Reasoning – DHY 8280-Scientic Literature & DHY 8350 – Scientific Presentation (fulfilled in major)

    Knowledge Area C:  Scientific Knowledge

    • C1:  Physical Science - CHM 1015 Chemical Principles
    • C2:  Social Science - PYC 1000 Introduction to Psychology / SOC 1000 Introduction to Sociology

    Knowledge Area D:  Religious & Philosophical Knowledge

    • D1:  Philosophical Knowledge - PHL 1000 Introduction to Philosophy
    • D2:  Religious Knowledge - any course with the D2 attribute 
    • D3:  PHL/RELS Elective - any course with the D3 attribute 

    Knowledge Area E:  Essential Humanities

    • E1:  Historical Experiences - any course with the E1 attribute
    • E2:  Literary Experiences - any course with the E2 attribute (DH Pre-requisite)
    • E3:  Aesthetic Experiences - any course with the E3 attribute

    Knowledge Area F:  Ethics & Social Responsibility

    • F1:  Ethics  - any course with the F1 attribute

    Integrating Themes

    • IT1:  Reading, Writing, and Research Across the Curriculum – CHM 1015 Chemical Principles (DH Pre-requisite)
    • IT2:  Critical Thinking - any course with the IT2 attribute
    • IT3:  Cultural Diversity - any course with the IT3 attribute
    • IT4:  Human Difference - any course with the IT4 attribute
    • IT5:  Personal Spiritual Development - any course with the IT5 attribute
    • IT6:  Spirituality & Social Justice - any course with the IT6 attribute
  •  

    Required Professional Dental Hygiene Program Courses

    Notice: The Dental Hygiene curriculum is subject to change. Please consult the Dental Hygiene Program for the complete and current curriculum.

    • BSC 8030 Foundations of Integrated Biomedical Sciences (1.5 credits)
    • BSC 8040 Integrated Biomedical Sciences I (2 credits)
    • BSC 8050 Integrated Biomedical Sciences II (4 credits)
    •  BSC 8120 Head & Neck Anatomy (2 credits)
    • BSC 8140 Oral Microbiology I (1 credit)
    • BSC 8150 Histology (1 credit)
    • BSC 8190 Infectious Diseases for Dental Hygiene (2 credits)
    • BSC 8260 General and Oral Pathology for Dental Hygiene I (1 credits)
    • BSC 8261 General and Oral Pathology for Dental Hygiene II (1 credits)
    • CLN 8140 Clinical Dental Hygiene I/Clinic Rounds (4 credits)
    • CLN 8150 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (5 credits)
    • CLN 8260 Clinical Dental Hygiene III (6 credits)
    • CLN 8270 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV (6 credits)
    • CLN 8280 Clinical RDA Expanded Functions (Elective) (0.5 credit)
    • COM 8210 Concepts in Community Health (1 credit)
    • COM 8220 Community Oral Health Education I (2 credits)
    • COM 8230 Community Oral Health Education II (0.5 credit)
    • DHS 8110 Physical Assessment & Management of Medical Emergencies (1.5 credit)
    • DHS 8200 Pain and Anxiety (2 credits)
    • DHY 8010 Dental Hygiene Success Seminar (0.0 credit)
    • DHY 8080 Oral Health Assessment I (1 credits)
    • DHY 8081 Oral Health Assessment II (1.5 credits)
    • DHY 8100 Dental Hygiene Care I (1.5 credits)
    • DHY 8101 Dental Hygiene Care II (3.5 credits)
    • DHY 8130 Radiology I (1 credits)
    • DHY 8131 Radiology II (2 credits)
    • DHY 8140 Strategies for Prevention of Oral Diseases (3 credit)
    • DHY 8150 Dental Materials (3 credits)
    • DHY 8170 Dental Anatomy I (1 credits)
    • DHY 8171 Dental Anatomy II (1 credits)
    • DHY 8180 The Child and Adolescent Patient (1 credit)
    • DHY 8200 Concepts in Professionalism (3 credits)
    • DHY 8210 Special Patient Care (2 credits)
    • DHY 8220 Dental Hygiene Board Review I (1 credit)
    • DHY 8221 Dental Hygiene Board Review II (1 credit)
    • DHY 8230 Periodontal Therapy I (1 credit)
    • DHY 8240 Ethical, Legal Issues II (2 credits)
    • DHY 8250 Radiographic Interpretation (1 credit)
    • DHY 8280 Scientific Literature (2 credits)
    • DHY 8300 Periodontal Therapy II (1 credit)
    • DHY 8320 Introduction to Ethical and Legal Issues (1 credit)
    • DHY 8350 Scientific Presentation I (0.5 credit)
    • DHY 8351 Scientific Presentation II (0.5 credit)

    Course Descriptions

    BSC 8030 Foundations of Integrated Biomedical Sciences

    This course will introduce the dental hygiene student to principles of pathophysiology in order to provide the foundational knowledge required for case-based study in subsequent Integrated Biomedical Sciences courses.

    BSC 8040 Integrated Biomedical Sciences I

    The purpose of this course is to introduce the dental hygiene student to foundational principles of pharmacology and the therapeutic basis for analgesics and anti-infective chemotherapy. Additionally, students will initiate the integrated, case-based study of neurobiology, the central and autonomic nervous systems, and musculoskeletal systems.

    BSC 8050 Integrated Biomedical Sciences II

    The purpose of the course is to provide an integrated knowledge of anatomical structures of body (anatomy); the functions of various component systems of the body are regulated (physiology) and how these body systems and structures drugs may be modified or influenced by pharmacological agents (pharmacology and therapeutics).

    BSC 8120 Head and Neck Anatomy

    The purpose of the course is to provide foundational knowledge of the anatomy of the head and neck that will prepare the student for other courses in the dental hygiene curriculum, and for the practice of dental hygiene, including anatomical landmarks for the safe and effective provision of local anesthesia.

    BSC 8140 Oral Microbiology

    The purpose of the course is to provide further understanding of basic and clinical microbiology and its relationship to oral health care as well as provide instruction on infection control and disease transmission, the microbiology of dental caries, and oral microbial infections. 

    BSC 8150 Histology

    This course provides foundation knowledge of the embryonic development of the orofacial region and teeth. Additionally knowledge of the structure-function relationships of the hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity and teeth is presented as a foundation for pathology, dental anatomy, and gross anatomy.

    BSC 8190 Infectious Diseases for Dental Hygiene

    The purpose of the course is to provide information on bacterial, viral, and fungal infectious diseases that the dental hygiene student might encounter in the practice of dental hygiene.  Particular emphasis is placed on the potential for transmission within the dental office.

    BSC 8260 General and Oral Pathology for Dental Hygiene I

    This course provides the students an overview of basic disease processes with an understanding of how cells and tissues react to injuries and how diseases arise. The student is introduced to the principles of general pathology and oral pathology as related to the etiology, progression, recognition, and treatment of numerous pathological conditions. Students will attain an understanding of basic pathology terminology.  Emphasis is placed on the pathogenesis of diseases, including inflammation, repair, genetics, developmental, cardiovascular, blood, and neoplasia, especially oral cancer, during this first semester. 

    BSC 8261 General and Oral Pathology for Dental Hygiene II

    BSC 8261 General and Oral Pathology for Dental Hygiene II uses the foundation knowledge presented in the first course to expand upon the individual entities such as: Immunopathology, Autoimmune and dermatological diseases, Salivary gland pathology, Physical and Chemical Injuries, Infectious diseases, Connective Tissue, and Bone Pathology.  Following these presentations students will have an understanding and be able to communicate clearly and effectively with dentists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals.

    CLN 8140 Clinical Dental Hygiene I/Clinic Rounds

    CLN 8140 is the first clinical dental hygiene course in the dental hygiene curriculum. The purpose of the course is to provide a transition from the pre-clinic setting to begin dental hygiene patient care.  An orientation to clinic procedures and protocols as well as an opportunity to apply pre-clinical skills to patient care are provided.

    CLN 8150 Clinic Dental Hygiene II

    The purpose of the course is to provide patient care with an emphasis on greater independence and time management.  Students will begin patient care outside Corktown Clinic.  An orientation to clinic procedures and protocols will clarify information pertaining to patient care both at Corktown and external clinics.

    CLN 8260 Clinical Dental Hygiene III

    Clinical Dental Hygiene III is a continuation of Clinical Dental Hygiene II (CLN 8150).  The emphasis is implementation of comprehensive dental hygiene care at a higher level of clinical competency.  Application and assessment of managing pediatric/adolescent and medically compromised/special needs patients in the clinical setting is also reinforced.  Additional clinical skills such as rubber dam and chemotherapeutic agent placement are also expected at the clinical competency level.  Interprofessional collaboration with the aim of increasing access to care will also be emphasized.

    CLN 8270 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV

    Clinical Dental Hygiene IV is a culmination of Clinical Dental Hygiene I, II, and III.  While an emphasis on implementation of comprehensive dental hygiene care remains, efficient, independent, evidenced-based quality care is stressed in order to prepare the dental hygiene student to be a competent beginning practitioner. 

    CLN 8280 Clinical RDA Expanded Functions(Elective Course)

    The purpose of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills in order to perform legally defined scope of practice for the delivery of Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) expanded functions in the state of Michigan. The provision of clinical care will be rendered under the direct supervision of dental faculty in the Corktown Clinic, UHC Clinic and Covenant Care Clinic.

    COM 8210 Concepts in Community Health

    The purpose of this first course in the DH Community Health Curriculum is to provide a foundation for public health and dental public health and to identify the responsibilities of the dental hygienist in promoting community oral health. 

    COM 8220 Community Oral Health Education I

    The purpose of this course is to build upon and apply the concepts learned in Concepts in Community Health (COM 8210), emphasizing the role of the dental hygienist in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating community oral health education and intervention programs/projects.  Service-Learning experiences will provide an opportunity for dental hygiene students to apply principles learned in the classroom to practical situations which includes interacting and communicating with multicultural populations.

    COM 8230 Community Oral Health Education II

    The purpose this course is to build upon and utilize the concepts learned in Concepts in Community Health (COM 8210) and in Community Oral Health Education I (COM 8220). This final course in the community health curriculum emphasizes community oral health education strategies with populations other than those discussed and employed in previous courses. 

    DHS 8110 Physical Assessment & Management of Medical Emergencies

    This course is designed to give the dental hygiene student a basic understanding of disease states that may trigger medical emergencies and the means to prevent these emergencies through careful  preoperative assessment and treatment modification.  Through both didactic and laboratory experiences, students will further develop the assessment skills necessary for treating a patient with a significant medical problem as well as recognize and manage  medical emergencies.

    DHS 8200 Pain and Anxiety

    This course is designed to provide the dental hygiene student with basic and current concepts of pain control, local anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation.  The didactic portion provides rationale for pain control, a review of essential anatomy and neurophysiology, pharmacology of anesthetic and vasoconstriction agents, medical emergencies, and legal considerations.  In the clinical laboratory setting, safe and effective administration of local anesthetics and nitrous oxide sedation on student partners are monitored by dental faculty. Through both lecture and laboratory instruction, the student learns how to effectively manage their patients’ pain and anxiety levels.

    DHY 8010 Dental Hygiene Success Seminar

    The purpose of this course is to assist beginning dental hygiene students in successfully transitioning from a traditional college setting to higher education in a professional dental school setting. This course focuses on 1) developing strong study, organizational, critical thinking, and coping skills; 2) familiarizing the student with university and department resources to aid their success.  Past research has shown that students are most successful when they feel connected both academically and socially during the educational experience, particularly their first year.

    DHY 8080 Oral Health Assessment I

    The purpose of this course is to introduce patient assessment skills utilized in the dental hygiene process of care which includes: medicolegal documentation, Communication for assessment, medical/ dental history taking, common medical conditions and medications, accessing and documenting drug information, taking vital signs and analyzing the readings. Concepts and techniques of assessment will be introduced and practiced in the classroom and/or clinical setting with fellow students as patients. This is a pre- requisite course to DHY8081 Oral Health Assessment II.

    DHY 8081 Oral Health Assessment II

    As the second course in the Oral Health Assessment course series, this course will continue the dental hygiene process of care which includes a critical awareness of cultural diversity and human differences. Concepts and techniques of assessment will be introduced and practiced in the classroom and/or clinical setting with fellow students as patients. Assessment skills introduced include the following: periodontal assessment, head and neck examination, lesion description, interprofessional communication and cross cultural communication.

    DHY 8100 Dental Hygiene Care I

    The purpose of this course is to introduce the dental hygiene process of care with a focus on infection control, standard precautions, OSAP training, ergonomics, oral hygiene education, instrument classification and design, the anatomy of the periodontium, the foundational skills of the periodontal probe as well as an introduction to powered instruments. Concepts and techniques of instrumentation are practiced in both the simulation laboratory with simulators and in the clinical setting with fellow students as patients. This course is a pre -requisite to DHY8101 Dental Hygiene Care II.

    DHY 8101 Dental Hygiene Care II

    As the second course in the Dental Hygiene Care course series, this course will continue the dental hygiene process of care with a focus on Periodontal Instrumentation. Concepts and techniques of instrumentation are practiced in both the simulation laboratory with simulators and in the clinical setting with fellow students as patients. Periodontal instruments introduced include the following: Scalers, Universal Curets, Gracey Curets, and Ultrasonic/sonic instrumentation. Assessment instruments introduced include: dental explorers and the periodontal probe. Additional skills introduced include: professional fluoride application, removal of extrinsic stain (rubber cup polishing/ air polishing), instrument sharpening and further instruction of powered instrumentation.

    DHY 8130 Radiology I

    Radiology I prepare the dental hygiene student to practice the science of oral and maxillofacial radiology.  The course begins with radiation physics, the mechanisms of x-ray generation, the effects of exposure factors on the x-ray beam, and the interactions of x-radiation and matter.  Image production and intraoral image receptors (digital and film) are considered next, and emphasis is placed on identifying and correcting errors resulting from improper exposure and processing.  A brief introduction to the pre-clinical aspect of this course will be given.

    DHY 8131 Radiology II

    This course is a continuation of Radiology I with emphasis on the techniques of intraoral radiography as presented in class and in the pre-clinical part of the course; identification and correction of errors in technique are strongly emphasized.  Panoramic and other extraoral projections are discussed, followed by specialized radiographic procedures.  Radiation biology and protective measures are presented, with quality assurance protocols discussed in the context of radiation dose reduction.  The course concludes with identification of normal radiographic landmarks, the principles of radiographic interpretation, detection of dental caries, recognition of periapical diseases and common bony lesions, and infection control procedures.  It is the purpose of this course to develop the student’s ability to think conceptually and to use problem-solving skills rather than simply memorize facts. 

    DHY 8140 Strategies for Prevention of Oral Diseases 

    This course is designed to introduce evidence based concepts and strategies utilized in the promotion of oral health and prevention of oral diseases for the individual patient.  It is comprised of three modules: the prevention of Hard Tissue Diseases, the prevention of Soft Tissue Diseases, and Behavioral Interventions.  Strategies for the prevention of periodontal diseases will build upon information previously learned in other courses, including DHY 8080 Oral Health Assessment, BSC 8140 Microbiology and in DHY 8230, Periodontal Therapy I.

    DHY 8150 Dental Materials

    The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a background in the science dealing with the properties, manipulation and care of materials used in the prevention and treatment of oral disease.  This study will include the physical, mechanical, chemical, biological characters and biocompatibility issues of these materials.  In addition, this course will study the clinical application of these dental materials and their relationship to the oral environment.

    DHY 8170 Dental Anatomy I

    This course is designed to introduce the dental hygiene student to the oral cavity and its adjoining structures. Dental anatomy is defined here, but is not limited to, the study of the development, morphology, function, and nomenclature in the human dentition. The study of dental anatomy provides one of the basic skills sets needed to practice dental hygiene.

    DHY 8171: Dental Anatomy II

    This course is designed for the application of dental anatomy to clinical practice. The dental hygiene student must have knowledge of the morphology, occlusion, dentition periods, and functions of teeth to manage the hygiene phase of dental treatment. The study of dental anatomy considers the development and eruption of the teeth, specific chronologies of both human dentitions and applications to dental hygiene practice.

    DHY 8180 Child and Adolescent Patient

    The purpose of the course is to introduce the dental hygiene students to the concepts, definitions, oral health policies, clinical guidelines, and treatment planning in pediatric dentistry.

    DHY 8200 Concepts in Professionalism

    This course is the culmination of professionalism concepts that have been presented throughout the entire dental hygiene curriculum. Political, social, environmental and professional issues that impact the current practice of dental hygiene will be explored.

    DHY 8210 Special Patient Care

    The 1st portion of this course is designed to introduce students to issues relating to Geriatric dental care, Special Patient dental care and treatment considerations. opics include health and wellness, issues in geriatric dentistry, oral changes in the older adult, physical assessment and pharmacological factors, oral health promotion for the older adult, mental diseases in the older adult, elder abuse and hospice care. The 2nd portion is designed prepare the students for management of patients with systemic/medical conditions that may have delivery of dental services implications. Topics include descriptions of diseases or conditions, incidence, prevalence, etiology, clinical manifestations, medical treatment, oral manifestations and dental management considerations.

    DHY 8220 Dental Hygiene Board Review I

    This course is the first of a two part course series designed to prepare the dental hygiene student for the national, regional and state licensing board examinations.  Emphasis will be placed on the introduction of the board examination process providing an overview of each licensure exam. Content review sessions will be provided exposing the student to simulated questioning techniques to assist with preparing for licensure examinations.

    DHY 8221 Dental Hygiene Board Review II

    This course is the second of a two part course series designed to prepare the dental hygiene student for the national, regional and state licensing board examinations.  Emphasis will be placed on the application process for the various board examinations and state licensure. Content review sessions will be provided exposing the student to simulated questioning techniques to assist with preparing for licensure examinations. Mock examinations will also be conducted.

    DHY 8230 Periodontal Therapy I

    The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease. The student will be able to apply information collected clinically and radiographically to assign a proper periodontal diagnosis and a periodontal treatment plan.

    DHY 8240 Ethical, Legal Issues II

    The purpose of this course is to continue the student’s exposure to the ethical and legal principles guiding the decision making and the practice of dental hygiene.  Mechanism to assess personal and professional self assessment will be utilized along with discussion of suggested measures and/or support systems to improve recognized deficiencies.  Students will prepare and present analyses of an ethical dilemma they have personally observed in their clinical experience. 

    DHY 8250 Radiographic Interpretation

    This course prepares the dental hygiene student to further enhance skills to interpret dental radiographic images to correctly identify normal radiographic landmarks on intra-oral and panoramic radiographs, developmental anomalies of the teeth, and common bony lesions. The student will also be prepared for the detection and radiographic classification of dental caries, recognition of periapical and periodontal diseases, and identification of dental restorative materials. Film processing errors and trouble-shooting, along with error identification in radiographic technique and correction will also be revisited in order to prepare the dental hygiene student. It is the purpose of this course to develop the student’s ability to think conceptually and to use problem-solving skills in preparation for the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination.

    DHY 8280 Scientific Literature

    This course will prepare the dental hygiene student to critically read and assess scientific literature.  Foundation knowledge in the Scientific Method and in Evidence Based Decision Making will be presented.  Topics include:  (a) components of professional articles and publications, (b) research methods, and (c) basic statistical concepts.

    DHY 8300 Periodontal Therapy II

    This course builds on the foundation knowledge presented in DHY8230 Periodontal Therapy I. The course focus is to provide the learner with information regarding systemic conditions that effect the treatment of periodontal disease, and periodontal surgery. Topics covered in this course will include implant care and maintenance, pregnancy and diabetes in regards to periodontal disease, local and systemic antimicrobial treatment, basic principles of periodontal surgery, the management of furcations, occlusal trauma, interdisciplinary issues with periodontal disease and laser use in periodontal treatment.. Current trends in periodontics will be emphasized, and the student will be helped to understand the relationships between the dental hygienist, general practitioner and the periodontal specialist. The student will understand the role of all health care providers in the management of periodontal disease.

    DHY 8320 Introduction to Ethical and Legal Issues

    The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the ethical and legal principles guiding the decision making and practice of dentistry, dental hygiene and dental assisting. An introductory examination of ethical theories, moral principles and the development of critical thinking skills will be presented. The scope of practice and licensure requirements of the dental hygienist and dental assistant will be analyzed. Students will be required to develop a class code of ethics, and address hypothetical dilemmas utilizing an ethical decision making model. 

    DHY 8350 Scientific Presentation I

    This course will emphasize the importance of baccalaureate educated dental hygienists being able to read, critique, and synthesize scientific literature in order to conduct a hypothesis based scholarly project and present research findings contributing to increased knowledge of fellow dental professionals in order to enhance dental and dental hygiene practice or dental education. The course will provide an opportunity to apply statistical concepts, data analysis/interpretation and principles of the scientific method as presented earlier in the curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a scholarly project proposal based on a topic of choice and if applicable, submission for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval by the end of the semester.

    DHY 8351 Scientific Presentation II

    As the second course in the Scientific Presentation course series, this course will continue to emphasize the importance of baccalaureate educated dental hygienists being able to read, critique, and synthesize scientific literature in order to conduct a hypothesis based scholarly project and present research findings contributing to increased knowledge of fellow dental professionals in order to enhance dental and dental hygiene practice or dental education. The course will provide an opportunity to apply statistical concepts, data analysis/interpretation and principles of the scientific method as presented earlier in the curriculum.   The scholarly project outlined in the project proposal/IRB application completed in the preceding Scientific Presentation course will be conducted during this course. Students will provide an electronic classroom presentation of their findings during the last class session. Oral presentations will be provided externally in multiple professional meeting venues during the final (Winter 2018) semester of the dental hygiene program.

  •  

    Degree Completion Curriculum

    In addition to the University Core Curriculum listed above, the following are additional courses required of any licensed dental hygienist working toward the Baccalaureate Degree in the Degree Completion Program.

    Program: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion

    • Knowledge Area A: Communication Skills
    • A1:  Oral Communication - CST 1010 Fundamentals of Speech
    • A2:  Written Communication - ENL 1310 Academic Writing

    Knowledge Area B: Mathematical & Statistical Knowledge

    • B1:  Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning - any with a B1 attribute
    • B2:  Statistical & Probabilistic Reasoning  - any with a B2 attribute

    Knowledge Area C:  Scientific Knowledge

    • C1:  Physical Science - CHM 1015 Chemical Principles (and others)
    • C2:  Social Science - PYC 1000 Introduction to Psychology / SOC 1000 Introduction to Sociology

    Knowledge Area D:  Religious & Philosophical Knowledge

    • D1:  Philosophical Knowledge - PHL 1000 Introduction to Philosophy
    • D2:  Religious Knowledge - any course with the D2 attribute 
    • D3:  PHL/RELS Elective - any course with the D3 attribute 

    Knowledge Area E:  Essential Humanities

    • E1:  Historical Experiences - any course with the E1 attribute
    • E2:  Literary Experiences - any course with the E2 attribute
    • E3:  Aesthetic Experiences - any course with the E3 attribute

    Knowledge Area F:  Ethics & Social Responsibility

    • F1:  Ethics - any course with the F1 attribute

    Integrating Themes

    • IT1:  Reading, Writing, and Research Across the Curriculum CHM 1015 Chemical Principles (fulfilled in DH Program)
    • IT2:  Critical Thinking - any course with the IT2 attribute
    • IT3:  Cultural Diversity - any course with the IT3 attribute
    • IT4:  Human Difference - any course with the IT4 attribute
    • IT5:  Personal Spiritual Development - any course with the IT5 attribute
    • IT6:  Spirituality & Social Justice - any course with the IT6 attribute

    Dental Hygiene Core Classes:

    Electives

    Electives include any additional courses beyond those stated above necessary to achieve completion of a minimum of 126 credit hours. This coursework may include an independent/directed study in the student’s particular area of interest.

    Dental Hygiene Directed Studies

    Course Descriptions

    DHY 8310 Dental Hygiene Research Methods Credit Hours: 3 THIS COURSE IS ONLY OFFERED TO STUDENTS IN THE DENTAL HYGIENE DEGREE COMPLETION PROGRAM. It is an online course and is the first course in the 2 course Dental Hygiene Core Requirement. This course will give a basic overview of the Research Process. Topics will include: the scientific method, basic research methods, research proposals, and IRB approval.

    DHY 8312 Dental Hygiene Capstone Credit Hours: 3  THIS COURSE IS ONLY OFFERED TO STUDENTS IN THE DENTAL HYGIENE DEGREE COMPLETION PROGRAM. This course is only offered to students in the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program. Students will conduct a field experience based on the research proposal developed in DH Research Methods. A scholarly activity (scientific poster presentation or a scholarly article) based on the field experienced will also be completed.

    DHY 8470 Directed Study Credit Hours: 0.5 

    This course is offered only to dental hygiene degree completion students. Individually developed courses are offered in the student's area of interest.

    DHY 8471 Directed Study Credit Hours: 1  

    This course is offered only to dental hygiene degree completion students. Individually developed courses are offered in the student's area of interest.

    DHY 8472 Directed Study Credit Hours: 1.5 

    This course is offered only to dental hygiene degree completion students. Individually developed courses are offered in the student's area of interest.

    DHY 8473 Directed Study Credit Hours: 2

    This course is offered only to dental hygiene degree completion students. Individually developed courses are offered in the student's area of interest.

    DHY 8474 Directed Study Credit Hours: 3

    This course is offered only to dental hygiene degree completion students. Individually developed courses are offered in the student's area of interest

  •  

    Admissions Requirements

    Admission Criteria

    Students may be admitted to any one of the three phases of dental hygiene education: Pre-Dental Hygiene; Professional Dental Hygiene; and Degree Completion.

    Pre-Dental Hygiene Admission

    Above average high school students (GPA of 2.7 or above) will be admitted into the School of Dentistry as pre-dental hygiene students. This acceptance does not guarantee admission into the professional phase of the Dental Hygiene Program. The advantage of admission into Pre-Dental Hygiene is the benefit of placement tests and the expertise of the Dental Hygiene advisor. The advisor will help in the correct selection of appropriate courses and in the presentation of your credentials for evaluation by the Dental Hygiene Admission Committee. To be admitted as a freshman, applicants must meet the general entrance requirements of the University. All pre-requisite courses are taken on the McNichols Campus.

    Professional Dental Hygiene Program Admission

    Applicants who apply to the program must do so on or before February 1st to be considered for admission into the Professional Dental Hygiene Program. A maximum of 26 students are admitted each year. The Clinical phase of the program begins at the end of May in the Summer Semester. The Detroit Mercy Professional Dental Hygiene Program does not maintain a waiting list. Admission is competitive and starts anew each year based on the most qualified candidates. Students who are in the process of completing prerequisite requirements, either at Detroit Mercy or another university, college or community college, may compete for admission into the Professional Dental Hygiene Program. Admitted students take all Professional Dental Hygiene courses at the School of Dentistry's Corktown campus on a full-time basis. In addition to the course requirements for admission, the Admissions Policies require:

    • An expected minimum pre-requisite GPA of 2.70.
    • An expected minimum Science GPA of 2.70.
    • A minimum overall College GPA of 2.70.
    • Written verification of employment or observation in a dental office.

    Degree Completion Program Admission

    Students who have previously received a Certificate in Dental Hygiene from the University of Detroit Mercy or an Associate's degree with a dental hygiene major from another college/university or community college, are licensed dental hygienists, and would like to complete their Bachelor of Science Degree may apply for admission. They must meet the following requirements:

    • Graduation from an accredited Dental Hygiene Program
    • An overall GPA of 2.50 or above in academic coursework
    • Successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
    • A current license to practice
    • Current CPR certification

    Transfer Students

    The dental hygiene program gives full consideration to students who wish to transfer from any accredited college or university. Students may transfer into Pre-Dental Hygiene, or may apply into the Professional Dental Hygiene or Degree Completion programs. Students who have already completed applicable courses will receive transfer credit. A maximum of 96 credit hours may be transferred from a four-year college or university. A maximum of 63 credit hours may be transferred from a community college, however, some colleges and community colleges have articulation agreements with Detroit Mercy and an additional number of transfer credit hours may be accepted. Since the academic standing of each transfer applicant is evaluated on an individual basis, students are encouraged to consult with an advisor from the Dental Hygiene Program.

  •  

    Contact Information

    Address

    • Dental Hygiene Program Admissions
    • Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
    • 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    • Detroit, MI 48208-2576
    • Telephone: (313) 494-6625
    • Fax: (313) 494-6697
    • Email: dentalhygiene@udmercy.edu
    • Website

    • Dean: Mert Aksu, DDS, JD, MHSA
    • Telephone: (313) 494-6620
    • Fax: (313) 494-6627
    • Email: aksumn@udmercy.edu

    • Director, Dental Hygiene Program: Maureen VanHook, RDH, MS
    • Telephone: (313) 494-6935
    • Fax: (313) 494-6697
    • Email: vanhooma@udmercy.edu

    • Co-Directors, Dental Hygiene Admissions: Pamela Gibes, RDH, MA. Tonya Zalenski, RDH, BS.
    • Telephone: (313) 494-6628, (313) 494-6892
    • Fax: (313) 494-6697
    • Email: gibespv@udmercy.edu, zalenstr@udmercy.edu
Back to Top