Philosophy & Goals

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


The teaching philosophy of the program is to graduate a dental hygienist who strives for excellence and ethical conduct in the provision of comprehensive dental hygiene care.  A state of the science curriculum integrates the biomedical, clinical and psychosocial sciences and facilitates the development of a knowledge-based practitioner.

Patient Care

The patient care philosophy 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 towards becoming a practitioner who continually appraises the quality of his/her patient care.  The student advising system 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 dental hygienist with a flexibility to adapt to societal change and an ability to contribute to the culturally diverse communities.


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.

The Goals of the Dental Hygiene Program are to:

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