Dental Hygiene Programs

Dental Hygiene

The Detroit Mercy Dental Hygiene programs are uniquely housed within the School of Dentistry, providing unique and collaborative learning opportunities for students.  Not only are courses taught by both dental hygiene and dental faculty, but students from each program provide patient care together in clinics. Our clinically-oriented and community-focused curriculum fosters superb critical thinking abilities, practical skills, and cultural sensitivity to graduate practice-ready oral health professionals and prepares students for their desired career paths.

More information regarding requirements, admissions policies, and program information can be found in the Dental Hygiene Admissions Policies and Program Information Handbook.

The Dental Hygiene Program at the School of Dentistry is accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Teaching Philosophy

To graduate dental hygienists who strive 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.

Program Goals

  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.


Pre-Dental Hygiene

Pre-Dental Hygiene is an entry-level program which includes two years of University required general education courses and program prerequisites followed by two years in the Professional R.D.H. program. 

Pre-Dental Hygiene Program Information

Professional Dental Hygiene Program

The Professional Dental Hygiene Program is the second phase of the Pre-Dental Hygiene program and graduates students with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

Deadline for applications is February 1.

Professional Dental Hygiene Program Information

Degree Completion Program

The Degree Completion program is for currently licensed Dental Hygienists who have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program, but did not obtain a Bachelor’s degree as part of their studies.  

Degree Completion Program Information

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    Patient Care Philosophy

    To focus on patients’ individual needs while actively involves them in the treatment processes, promoting 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 environment 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.  A challenging, collegiate atmosphere fosters development of dental hygienists who are intellectually curious, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners.



    The Dental Hygiene 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 Detroit Mercy Dental 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.