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Health Programs

Dental Hygiene

The Program

The Dental Hygiene Diploma program at Vancouver Island University is a Commission on Dental Accreditation Canada (CDAC) accredited program. The program provides education in the application of preventative and therapeutic methods of oral disease control and oral health promotion.

The concepts of health education, professionalism, critical thinking, life-long learning, and community service are strongly encouraged in the program curriculum. Students have the opportunity to apply knowledge and gain practical experience in public dental clinics and dental health activities in the community. Strong computer literacy is highly recommended prior to admission to the program.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be granted a diploma which makes them eligible to apply for registration and licensure with the College of Dental Hygienists of BC (as per their criteria) as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH).

Career Opportunities

Registered dental hygienists are key members of the oral health team. The RDH provides high quality dental care, helps prevent oral disease, and promotes oral health. Graduates apply to the provincial authorities (or equivalent) for registration. Opportunities exist for licensure and registration in over 50 countries where dental hygienists are an integral component of health care.

Graduates can work in a number of settings including: general and specialty dental offices, self-owned independent dental hygiene practices, residential care facilities, hospitals, educational institutions, and community health agencies. RDHs may also work as self-employed contractors, researchers, or sales representatives to dental companies.

More information can be found on the British Columbia Dental Hygienists' Association (BCDHA) website.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites

Course Credits Course Options
English 6 Degree English Requirement
Anatomy and Physiology 8 BIOL 151/152/153/154 or BIOL 156/157
Chemistry 8 CHEM 140/141 or CHEM 140/142
Psychology 6 PSYC 111/112 or PSYC 121/122 or PSYC 131/132
Statistics 3 MATH 211 or MATH 161
Elective 3 Any 100 or 200 level course (courses without a T or G suffix)

Note: Students laddering into a Bachelor of Dental Science (Dental Hygiene) degree after completion of the Dental Hygiene Diploma need to check with the receiving institution for transferability of prerequisites.

  • General admission requirements apply.
  • Students must have completed the minimum requirements listed in the prerequisite list (above), or equivalent.
  • Biology and Chemistry prerequisites must have been completed within the last 5 years (prior to admission).
  • Students must have completed a minimum "B" average on prerequisite courses and, no individual course grade lower than a "C+".
  • Submission of a Personal Profile.

Notes on Admission

Acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Diploma program is competitive and will be determined by a combination of GPA and Personal Profile scores. Once accepted into the program, students will be required to submit the following information by mid-August:

  • A completed pdf document Immunization Requirements Form is required by mid-August. The Health Immunization form must be signed by the public health nurse.
  • Evidence of successfully completing a nationally recognized WHMIS course. Note: An online W.H.M.I.S course can be taken through the Vancouver Island University Powell River Campus.
  • Evidence of current CPR Level "C" certification or Level HCP (healthcare provider).
  • Criminal Record Check. Fieldwork, practicums, or clinical practice will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. The Registration Centre at VIU will contact prospective students by mail regarding the requirements for a Criminal Record Check. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.

Notes on Registration and Licensure

Authorization for a criminal record check is required to register and license as a dental hygienist in British Columbia. A criminal conviction may interfere with eligibility for registration.

Start Date and Application Deadline

The program starts in September and applications will be accepted between October 3 and March 31. For further information regarding late applications and program contacts check the Program Availability List.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for a Diploma in Dental Hygiene, students must have met all of the learning outcomes and completed all program courses with a minimum "B-" in each course.

Program Outline

YEAR 1

1st Semester

Credits

DENH 150 - (Dental Hygiene Foundations I)

5

DENH 152 - (Oral Sciences I)

3

DENH 153 - (Professional Issues I)

3

DENH 155 - (Dental Sciences I)

3

DENH 157 - (Head and Neck Anatomy)

2

DENH 158 - (Microbiology)

3

2nd Semester

DENH 160 - (Dental Hygiene Foundations II)

6

DENH 162 - (Oral Sciences II)

2

DENH 164 - (Pathologies I)

3

DENH 167 - (Prevention)

3

DENH 168 - (Communications)

3

DENH 169 - (Radiology)

3

Intersession

DENH 170 - (Dental Hygiene Foundations III)

3

DENH 171 - (Dental Hygiene Clinic I)

3

DENH 176 - (Research Methodology)

2

Total Credits

47

YEAR 2

1st Semester

Credits

DENH 250 - (Dental Hygiene Foundations IV)

3

DENH 251 - (Dental Hygiene Clinic II)

4

DENH 254 - (Pathologies II)

4

DENH 255 - (Dental Sciences II)

3

DENH 256 - (Community Health I)

3

2nd Semester

DENH 260 - (Dental Hygiene Foundations V)

3

DENH 261 - (Dental Hygiene Clinic III)

4

DENH 263 - (Professional Issues II)

3

DENH 264 - (Pathologies III)

3

DENH 266 - (Community Health II)

3

Intersession

DENH 270 - (Dental Hygiene Foundations VI)

2

DENH 271 - (Dental Hygiene Clinic IV)

4

DENH 278 - (Special Topics Seminar)

1

Total Credits

40

Updated: March 31, 2014