Dental Hygiene

Why study Dental Hygiene at Dal?

Learn in one of Canada's most modern dental clinics

Dental Hygienists are health professionals educated to prevent dental disease and help people maintain oral health. Here in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry, you'll benefit from a current, dynamic, scientific, and professional education in a learning environment that is positive and student-centered. And you'll get to participate in extramural rotations at a variety of sites.

Degree overview

Diploma: Diploma of Dental Hygiene, DDH
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Dental Hygiene, BDH
Faculty: Faculty of Dentistry
Campus: Carleton Campus, Halifax
Diploma Length: 2 years
Degree Length: 1 year after completion of Diploma
Program Start: September



What will I learn?

Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH)

When you study Dental Hygiene at Dalhousie, you’ll learn about a wide variety of topics in the dental and medical professions. An emphasis is placed on technology, hands-on experience and applications you’ll use in your career, such as digital patient health records.

You’ll also learn in state-of-the-art facilities, such as Dalhousie’s Dental Clinic, that have the most updated equipment available, from curing lights to prosthodontic materials. You’ll leave with the knowledge and skills you need to become a qualified dental hygienist; whether you become part of a team in a private dental office or want to start your own dental hygiene practice.

Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH)

Once you’ve completed the DDH, you may opt to take our one-year completion program to receive your Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH). Your course schedule might include alternative practice settings, entrepreneurship skills and teaching methods.

Sample courses:

  • Nutrition for Preventive Dentistry
  • Oral Anatomy and Dental Histology
  • Dental Hygiene Clinic

Visit the Academic Calendar to view degree options and course details.



Careers and future study

Your Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH) will prepare you with everything you need to know to become a licenced dental hygienist in Canada, the United States and Australia. In addition, the Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH) will prepare you for alternative clinical practice sites, research and teaching. Possible careers in dental hygiene include the following:

  • clinical or mobile dental hygienists
  • health educator or advocate
  • dental health policy advisor
     

The natural next step after completing the DDH would be to take the one-year Bachelor of Dental Hygiene completion program. After you’ve completed the BDH, you’ll be eligible to pursue a Master of Science (MSc) or Master of Education in Public Health.



Admission requirements

Admission requirements vary based on your previous education and your intended program of study at Dalhousie. Applying for Dental Hygiene is done using the undergraduate application form and must be submitted to the Registrar's Office, with academic grades, by March 15 for you to be considered for admission in the following academic year.

School of Dental Hygiene Affirmative Action

The School of Dental Hygiene is committed to increasing the number of qualified dental hygienists who are African Nova Scotian or Indigenous peoples of the Atlantic region.

Applicants from these groups who have completed the entrance requirements by May 30 of the year of expected entry, have achieved a B average or higher in a full course load (five courses per semester) in their most recent year of university study and have acceptable scores on all other admissions criteria for entry to the Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH) program, will be admitted.

View admission requirements

Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH)


Preference is given to permanent residents of the Atlantic provinces. Applicants are selected on a competitive basis. An application form must be submitted for each year in which you apply for admission. Applicants must also arrange for official transcripts to be submitted to the Faculty of Dentistry by the issuing institution to the following address:

Faculty of Dentistry, Admissions Office

Dalhousie University
PO Box 15000
Halifax, N.S.
B3H 4R2

Applicants must disclose all successful or unsuccessful high school and/or university attendance on the application form. For more information on official transcripts visit How to Submit Documents.

Academic Requirements

Before June 1 of the year of expected entry to the DDH program, applicants must:

  • have completed at least 30 credit hours of university study
  • have completed at least six credit hours in introductory biology
  • have completed six credit hours in an approved writing intensive course (a course requiring a significant amount of written work that is evaluated for composition, structure, spelling and grammar which it is approved by the admissions committee)


It is also recommended applicants complete the following:

  • three credit hours in introductory chemistry
  • vertebrate anatomy
  • vertebrate physiology
  • a selection of courses from the humanities and social sciences


Non-academic requirements

Interview

Competitive applicants may be requested to make themselves available for an admissions interview or an orientation session.

Supplemental Information

Applicants must also complete supplemental forms and documents


Health Requirements

General Regulations

Programs in the Faculty of Dentistry involve students interacting with patients in a health-care environment, meaning students are in a position of special trust with patients. Therefore, all students must adhere to certain regulations and standards. View the full list of health requirements [PDF- 162 kB].

Immunization and CPR Requirements

Acceptance into the Faculty of Dentistry clinical programs is normally conditional upon receipt of evidence of complete immunization of the following:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Polio
  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B (including post-immunization Antibody Titres)
  • Varicella
  • Annual influenza immunization for each year of study

Please note: students accepted to the program must also have a current Level C CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) course.

Supplementary Information

Applicants are required to complete the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry Immunization/CPR Record [PDF- 110 kB] as a condition of acceptance to the program. Please review the Faculty of Dentistry Immunization Procedure for Applicants [PDF- 162 kB].

Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH)


Academic Requirements

Applicants to the one-year Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH) completion program must have previously obtained a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from an accredited program in Canada or the United States and must be licensed or eligible for licensure to practice in Nova Scotia.

Applicants must also have completed at least one full year of university level courses (approximately 10 courses or 30 credit hours) by May 30 of the year of expected entry.

In compliance with Dalhousie’s academic regulations, students must complete at least 45 credit hours at Dalhousie to be granted a degree. The Bachelor of Dental Hygiene equal a total of 30 credit hours. Therefore, students who have not completed at least 15 credit hours and/or a Diploma in Dental Hygiene at Dalhousie will be required to complete 15 credit hours of elective classes before the Bachelor of Dental Hygiene degree can be awarded.

Health Requirements

General Regulations

Programs in the Faculty of Dentistry involve students interacting with patients in a health-care environment, meaning students are in a position of special trust with patients. Therefore, all students must adhere to certain regulations and standards. View the full list of health requirements [PDF- 162 kB].

Immunization and CPR Requirements

Acceptance into the Faculty of Dentistry clinical programs is normally conditional upon receipt of evidence of complete immunization of the following:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Polio
  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B (including post-immunization Antibody Titres)
  • Varicella
  • Annual influenza immunization for each year of study

Please note: students accepted to the program must also have a current Level C CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) course.

Supplementary Information

Applicants are required to complete the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry Immunization/CPR Record [PDF - 110 kB] as a condition of acceptance to the program. Please review the Faculty of Dentistry Immunization Procedure for Applicants [PDF - 162 kB].

International Applicants


Requirements for International Applicants

The Faculty of Dentistry will consider applications to the Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH) program from individuals who have received their former education outside the Canadian educational system. Such applicants will be required to fulfill specific criteria:

  • If the applicant’s first language is not English, he/she must complete an English language proficiency test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 580, computer-based score of 237, or iBT score of 90 (students must achieve 4.0 on the essay or TOEFL writing test); or IELTS score of 6.5; or MELAB score of 81; or CAEL score of 70; or CanTest score of 4.5.
  • Original supporting documents from previously completed education must be provided, including class descriptions, and explanation of the grading system used, and class standings. If this documentation does not clearly indicate completion of the prerequisite classes at a competitive level, the applicant must complete one year of prerequisite university study in North America.


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