We are the only dental hygiene bachelor's degree program in the State of Illinois and one of the premier programs in the country. We are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
The Dental Hygiene program is offered on the SIU campus, but we also offer a Dental Hygiene online degree for current dental hygiene professionals.
The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program is to provide quality educational experiences in an evidence-based curriculum, patient-centered clinical care, and interprofessional community-based service. The program strives to comprehensively prepare competent graduates to enter any one of six designated roles of the dental hygienist as defined by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA): Clinician, educator/health promoter, manager, researcher, consumer advocate, and change agent.
Comprehensively prepare dental hygiene graduates who are competent in the utilization and integration of knowledge and critical thinking skills related to general education, biomedical sciences, dental science, and dental hygiene science.
Provide students with dynamic and diverse clinical opportunities that support the development of psychomotor and communication skills relevant to dental hygiene practice.
Prepare graduates who demonstrate professionalism and ethical leadership in the delivery of patient-centered evidence-based care.
Support students’ needs and development to help them fully reach their potential.
Encourage student participation in community involvement to improve the well-being of others.
Provide students with the skills necessary to advance the practice of dental hygiene through research, involvement with professional associations, and life-long learning.
Upon graduation, you will also be prepared to continue your education through graduate or professional programs.
The curriculum incorporates advances in technology in the oral health field and is composed of 120 hours of academic coursework to be completed in four years. The coursework that prepares you for a successful professional career also provides additional preparation in the provision of periodontal care and an internship caring for rural health special needs and geriatric populations. The integration of the dental hygiene professional courses over a three-year period offers students extra supervised clinical practice prior to graduation.
Students must complete all dental hygiene courses with a grade of C or higher.