Entry-Level Traditional

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Dental Hygiene Entry-Level Traditional Program

The UMMC School of Dentistry's Dental Hygiene department offers an entry-level, traditional baccalaureate degree programĀ  for students who plan to earn a dental hygiene license. Upon completion of the five-semester, 22-month face-to-face program, students earn a bachelor of science degree and are prepared to apply for and obtain a dental hygiene license. During the first year at the Medical Center, students study basic and dental sciences and dental hygiene theory and techniques. In the second year, emphasis is on clinical experience and application of dental hygiene procedures.

Program goals

The Dental Hygiene program goals, which are congruent with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) and the School of Dentistry goals, are to:

  • Strive for professional and educational excellence.
  • Provide trained and competent dental hygienists for Mississippi.
  • Instill a desire to maintain competence through life-long learning.
  • Design experiences which provide quality preventive and educational services to diverse populations within the community.

Competency statements

A graduate of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Baccalaureate Dental Hygiene Program will have attained the following competencies:


  • Understand, respect and function within all local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations.


  • Understand, practice and promote the American Dental Hygienists Association's (ADHA) professional code of ethics in all dental hygiene endeavors.

Dental hygiene process of care patient needs analysis (assessment)

  • Systematically collect, record and analyze data on the general, oral and psychosocial health status of a variety of patients using methods consistent with medical, legal and ethical principles and practices.

Care plan (treatment plan)

  • Employ critical decision making skills to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan based on all available assessment data and collaboration with the patient and other health care professionals to meet the patient's dental hygiene needs.

Patient care (implementation, evaluation and documentation)

  • Provide each patient with personal dental hygiene care based on assessment, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation to achieve and maintain oral health and wellness. Document care by accurately recording all collected data, treatment planned and provided and other information and recommendations pertinent to patient care and treatment.

Professional growth

  • Promote quality patient care by providing each graduate with the foundation for continuing professional growth, learning and practice founded on evidence-based research and evolving standards of care. Enhance the standing of the profession by preparing the graduate for participation in professional and service organizations.

Community health

  • Plan and participate in community oral health activities to promote health and disease prevention of diverse groups.

Career opportunity

  • Identify and evaluate dental hygiene careers within alternative health care, industry, education, government and research settings.

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