Department website: http://www.odu.edu/dental
Ann Bruhn, Chair
Tara Newcomb, Chief Departmental Advisor
The Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene offers programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (entry level and post-licensure) and Master of Science with a major in dental hygiene. The entry-level dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
International Dental Hygiene
The School of Dental Hygiene, committed to solving global oral health problems, offers a variety of service learning programs in partnership with non-governmental agencies, academic institutions, and private organizations worldwide. Faculty-led experiences offer unique opportunities for students to travel abroad, develop cross-cultural competence, experience global health challenges, and engage in projects that advance oral health. International locations are determined by the School of Dental Hygiene in conjunction with the Office of Study Abroad. Program participation requires approval from the School of Dental Hygiene and the Office of Study Abroad.
The Dental Hygiene Research Center
The focus of the Dental Hygiene Research Center is to support research through collaboration and partnerships that will provide a foundation for dental hygiene services and practice, advance the practice of dental hygiene, and improve the oral health status of the public. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects are developed with healthcare facilities, private industry, and other academic institutions. Undergraduate and graduate students are integrated into the research process, which contributes to the understanding between theory and practice.
Bachelor of Dental Hygiene Programs
Linked Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene to Master of Science Program
Entry-level and BSDH Post-Licensure online dental hygiene students who have a cumulative 3.30 grade point average and senior standing may complete the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene to Master of Science (BSDH-MS) dental hygiene linked program application. This program allows exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to take up to 12 credit hours of graduate course work and apply them to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students in the linked program must earn a minimum of 150 credit hours (120 discrete credit hours for the undergraduate degree and 30 discrete credit hours for the graduate degree). Consult with the graduate program director for more information.
Dental Hygiene (DNTH)
An introduction to the theoretical foundations of preventive and therapeutic oral health services used in the dental hygiene process. Emphasis is on prevention of disease transmission, patient assessment, dental hygiene instrumentation, oral health instruction, treatment planning and ethical decision making. (offered fall)
Preclinical experience in the on-campus supervised clinic. Clinical and laboratory application of introductory skills essential to rendering oral health services to patients with emphasis on basic dental hygiene instrumentation and ergonomics. Offered each fall.
A study of the anatomical, histological, embryological and morphological features and development of the head, neck and dentition. Emphasis is on nomenclature, nerve and vascular innervation, muscles of mastication, orofacial embryology and histological features of the oral cavity for practice and forensic identification.
An introduction to biomaterials with emphasis on those materials and techniques common in dental hygiene practice and used and maintained by the dental hygienist. (offered fall)
Study of the nature and production of x rays and basic principles and procedures in oral radiology. Emphasis is on radiation physics, radiation biology, radiation protection and safety, basic intraoral radiographic techniques and imaging procedures. (offered fall)
Continuation of study of the theoretical foundation of preventive and therapeutic oral health services used in the dental hygiene process. Emphasis is on preparation for ethical, evidence-based client care. (offered spring).
Clinical experience in the on-campus supervised clinic. Continued development of clinical proficiency and ethical, evidence-based decision making in rendering comprehensive preventive oral health services using the dental hygiene process. Emphasis is on clinical application and development of competence in maintenance, management and evaluation of the periodontal patient; care planning, disease control strategies; and scaling and oral debridement on periodontally involved patients (offered spring).
A study of pharmacologic agents used in oral healthcare and of medications that the patient may be taking, their clinical effects, adverse effects, and dental implications, and the prevention and management of medical emergencies. Emphasis is on agents commonly used by patients which may require the alteration of treatment procedures, therapeutic agents used adjunctively in dental hygiene therapy and agents used in medical emergency procedures. (offered spring)
Principles of the disease process and general pathology including cell injury, infection, inflammation, neoplasia and circulatory disturbances are followed by the study of pathology of the teeth, supporting and associated oral structures. Emphasis is on the clinical and radiological appearance of local and systemic disease processes affecting the oral and facial structures. (offered spring)
Continued development of the principles and techniques obtained in Oral Radiology I with emphasis on supplemental intraoral techniques especially for client management; extraoral techniques; radiographic interpretation of film-based and digitally acquired images; and use of dental photography in patient care. (offered spring)
Emphasis is on principles of periodontics, evaluation of periodontal disease, and theoretical and clinical preparation for delivery of dental hygiene interventions. (offered spring)
Clinical experience in the on-campus supervised clinic. Continued development of clinical competency and ethical, evidence-based decision making in rendering comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health services and technologies using the dental hygiene process of care. (offered summer)
Clinical experience in the on-campus supervised clinic. Principles and techniques for local anesthesia injections and nitrous oxide-oxygen analgesia administration, neurophysiologic considerations, prevention of anesthesia-associated emergencies and application of techniques in laboratory. Five hours of instruction will be web-based. (Offered summer)
Selected topics in dental hygiene vary by semester. (offered fall, spring, summer)
Independent reading and study on a topic selected under direction of a faculty member. (offered fall, spring, summer)
Study of the psychosocial, physical and oral characteristics of patients with special needs. Emphasis is on the care and clinical management of the following patients: cognitively, developmentally and physically challenged, aged, pregnant, epileptic, diabetic, cancer, AIDS, chemically dependent and the blind and deaf. (offered fall)
Clinical experience in the on-campus supervised clinic. Continued development of clinical proficiency and ethical, evidence-based decision making in providing comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health services. Emphasis is on intra/interprofessional clinical application and development of competencies for the treatment of diverse, special needs and periodontally involved patients using the dental hygiene process of care. (offered fall)
Course is designed for the licensed dental hygienist who seeks to maintain an awareness of changing trends, perspectives, evidence-based interventions and technologies in dental hygiene, health, and society that influence the dental hygiene process of care. This is a writing intensive course. (Offered summer)
Introduction to the principles of dental public health, health literacy, oral epidemiology, evidenced-based prevention and control of oral disease on a population basis. Emphasis is on program assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation for the development of community-based dental programs. This course prepares students for the role of oral health educator, client advocate and resource person in community settings. (offered fall)
This course is designed to explore various educational concepts, principles and methods of teaching for adults. Students will learn to present educational information to a diverse client population, in a variety of settings, in an ethical and professional manner. Topics include, but are not limited to, objectives, planning, implementation and evaluation of instruction; instructional strategies; delivery models; presentation skills; and techniques for communicating health information.
Designed to develop skills in scientific methods, evidence based decision making and critical analysis of research findings. Emphasis on types of research, levels of evidence, problem selection and hypothesis writing, research planning and design, data collection and measuring techniques, analysis and interpretation of data, research proposal writing and computer application. A written research proposal is required for graduate credit.(offered fall)
A study of current trends that influence the profession of dental hygiene including oral health care delivery, manpower, financing mechanisms, quality improvement, third party payers, professional associations, regulatory agencies and legislation. Emphasis is on ethical, political, and legal issues as they relate to the dental hygiene profession. offered spring)
Designed to transition students into diverse employment settings nationally and globally. Emphasis is on written communication skills, practice management, working in multicultural settings, selecting an employment setting, values clarification, resume writing, interview techniques, networking, ethical dilemmas and cross-cultural competencies necessary for contemporary healthcare environments. Various national and international career opportunities are explored. This is a writing intensive course.
Clinical experience in the on-campus supervised clinic. Continued development of proficiency and ethical, evidence-based decision making in providing comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health services within the dental hygiene process of care. Emphasis is on intra/interprofessional development of competencies for the treatment of periodontally involved, special needs and diverse patients. (offered spring)
Interprofessional service-learning experiences designed to prepare students to function as oral health practitioners, educators, client advocates and resource persons in community health settings. Emphasis is on providing evidenced-based educational, preventive and therapeutic services for special needs populations including geriatric, institutionalized and cognitively, developmentally and physically challenged individuals. Participation in planning, implementing and evaluating a community oral health project. Design and delivery of a poster session is required. (offered spring; varies days and times)
This course examines the concept, global impact, and trends in telehealthcare technology on the client/patient, multidisciplinary practitioners, and various healthcare systems. Emphasis is on effective evidence-based decision making to reduce errors in patient care, promote care in remote or underserved geographical areas, and the ability to retrieve and evaluate healthcare information that improves access to quality, cost effective health care. (Offered spring)
International locations are determined by the School of Dental Hygiene in conjunction with the Office of Study Abroad. Program participation requires approval from the School of Dental Hygiene and the Office of Study Abroad. Provides an on-location international experience in oral care delivery, practice and regulation, and dental hygiene education. Students will be required to give presentations, review the dental care delivery system, and explore how the cultural beliefs and practices affect oral health, dental care seeking behaviors, and the oral health status of the population. Orientations will be conducted prior to travel.
This active participation course is designed for persons who work in static posture professions (e.g., dental hygienists, laboratory and computer office personnel) and who seek to practice ergonomic body mechanics and exercise therapies to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive strain injuries. Topics include biomechanics, creating an ergonomically sound work space, alternative sitting and standing techniques during clinical care, types of disorders and injuries, risk management, comprehension and demonstration of full body exercises with emphasis on core strength training, and self-monitoring. (offered online summer session only)
Seminars on selected topics in dental hygiene. Topics vary by semester. (offered fall, spring, summer)
Independent reading and study on a topic selected under direction of a faculty member. (Offered fall, spring, summer)