Dental Hygiene — B.S.

Dental hygiene—a profession dating back to 1913—is largely concerned with preventive health services. The hygienist works in cooperation with the dentist in private practice offices, industrial organizations, schools, hospitals, state or federal public health services, and the armed forces.

The B.S. degree is organized as a four-year college curriculum. The freshman and sophomore years of largely prescribed, preprofessional study may be taken at any regionally accredited college. The professional curriculum begins with the junior year in the School of Dentistry. The curriculum is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The first class at this University graduated in 1961.

Institutional learning outcomes

Students who graduate with the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene will meet the University outcomes.

Dental hygiene’s ten core competencies

The curriculum is designed to ensure that by graduation, all students will have been equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to successfully enter the practice of dental hygiene. By the end of the program, graduates should be able to:

  1. Apply a professional code of ethics in all patient and professional interactions;
  2. Adhere to the federal/state legal and regulatory framework in the provision of oral health care;
  3. Apply critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the provision of oral health care to promote whole-patient health and wellness;
  4. Use evidence-based rationales and emerging treatment modalities to evaluate and incorporate accepted standards of care;
  5. Incorporate self-assessment and professional growth through lifelong learning;
  6. Advance oral health services through affiliations with professional organizations, service activities, and research;
  7. Apply quality-assurance processes to ensure a continued commitment to accepted standards of care;
  8. Communicate effectively with diverse individuals and groups serving all persons without discrimination by acknowledging and appreciating diversity;
  9. Provide accurate, consistent, and complete assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation for the provision of all phases of the dental hygiene process of care;
  10. Provide collaborative, individualized patient care that is comprehensive and compassionate.

The entry-level B.S. degree curricula is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678; telephone: 312/440-250; e-mail: <>; website: <>.

The entry-level dental hygiene applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 96 quarter or 64 semester units of accredited college coursework.
    NOTE: Loma Linda University requires all students who graduate with a baccalaureate degree to complete a minimum of 68 quarter units of general education, which is integrated into the entire undergraduate program.
  • A grade point average of 2.7 or higher in science and nonscience coursework, averaged separately; a minimum grade of C for all pre-entrance coursework to be transferred to the University. The entering grade point average is typically 3.2 or higher.
  • A personal interview with a representative designated by the School of Dentistry. This interview will assess personal qualities such as, values, spiritual heritage, communication skills, service orientation, and volunteer experience. The interview is by invitation only.
  • Three personal letters of reference.
  • A minimum of 20 hours observation with a dental hygienist. Completion of observation hours prior to an interview is recommended. Dental assisting experience is also highly recommended.
  • Dental hygiene applicants are expected to complete all general education requirements before matriculating in the School of Dentistry. A student may be accepted with a deficiency in one or more of the areas but is expected to eliminate deficits before registering for the Dental Hygiene Program.
  • Required science courses must be completed within five years prior to the desired date of matriculation.

For further details, please see the application procedures tab in the School of Dentistry undergraduate section of this catalog.

Dental hygiene general education requirements

Domain I: 28-32 units

Religion and Humanities

Four quarter or three semester units of religion for each full year of attendance at a Seventh-day Adventist college, based on the total units graded; humanities courses (20-24 quarter units or 14 semester units) selected from a minimum of three content areas—history and/or civilization, fine arts theory, literature, philosophy/ethics, foreign language, performing arts/visual arts (not to exceed four quarter units).

Domain II: 24-32 units

Scientific Inquiry and Analysis and Social Sciences

One full year of chemistry covering inorganic, organic, and biochemistry—each with laboratory; human anatomy and human physiology with laboratory (may be two separate courses or sequential courses); microbiology with laboratory. Required science coursework must be completed within five years prior to matriculation. Nonremedial college mathematics or statistics. Introductory sociology, general psychology, and cultural anthropology/diversity courses are required.

Domain III: 9-13 units


English composition and literature, a complete sequence (two semesters or two to three quarters); and a speech/interpersonal communication/persuasion course are required. Introductory courses in computers are highly recommended.

Domain IV: 2-6 units

Health and Wellness

A personal health or nutrition course and two physical education activity courses with letter grades (C or better) are required.

For total unit requirements for graduation, see LLU General Education Requirements.

CodeTitleClock HoursTotal Units
Junior Year, Autumn Quarter
ANAT 301Head and Neck Anatomy, DH46464.0
DNES 200Curricular Practical Training2, 375750.0
DNHY 305Oral Anatomy Lecture22222.0
DNHY 305LOral Anatomy Laboratory30301.0
DNHY 309Radiology I2240623.0
DNHY 321Preclinical Dental Hygiene I Lecture22222.0
DNHY 321LPreclinical Dental Hygiene I Laboratory60602.0
RELT 423Loma Linda Perspectives20202.0
Winter Quarter
ANAT 303General and Oral Histology and Embryology42423.0
ANDN 314Dental Anesthesia: Local Anesthesia and Inhalation Sedation3330634.0
DNHY 310Radiology II2240623.0
DNHY 322Preclinical Dental Hygiene II Lecture22222.0
DNHY 322LPreclinical Dental Hygiene II Laboratory60602.0
DNHY 375Dental Hygiene Clinic40401.0
DNHY 380Medically Compromised Patients22222.0
DNHY 381Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist I22222.0
Spring Quarter
DNHY 323Preclinical Dental Hygiene III22222.0
DNHY 323LPreclinical Laboratory40401.0
DNHY 376Dental Hygiene Clinic1201204.0
DNHY 380Medically Compromised Patients22222.0
DNHY 382Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist II22222.0
DNHY 405Introduction to Periodontics22222.0
DNHY 450Junior Clinical Seminar22221.0
ODRP 311General and Oral Pathology DH50505.0
RELE 457Christian Ethics and Health Care20202.0
Senior Year, Summer Quarter
DNES 200Curricular Practical Training375750.0
DNES 305Etiology and Management of Dental Caries22222.0
DNES 400Interprofessional Laboratory Experience1, 3440.0
DNHY 303Dental Materials and Techniques1230422.0
DNHY 328Dental Hygiene Portfolio Practicum310101.0
DNHY 376Dental Hygiene Clinic1201204.0
DNHY 390Introductory Statistics22222.0
DNHY 406Orthodontics Concepts for Dental Hygiene12121.0
DNHY 416Dental Health Education I22222.0
DNHY 421Research I22222.0
DNHY 450Junior Clinical Seminar22221.0
Autumn Quarter
DNHY 411Dental Hygiene Topics I22222.0
DNHY 415Applied Nutrition22222.0
DNHY 417Dental Health Education II22222.0
DNHY 422Research II20202.0
DNHY 435Special Topics in Periodontal Therapy22222.0
DNHY 451Clinical Seminar I22221.0
DNHY 475Dental Hygiene Clinic I1761764.0
DNHY 495Dental Hygiene National Board Preparation22221.0-2.0
RELR 475Whole Person Care20202.0
Winter Quarter
DNHY 408Professional Ethics22222.0
DNHY 431Public Health Dentistry33333.0
DNHY 452Clinical Seminar II22221.0
DNHY 476Dental Hygiene Clinic II1761764.0
DNHY 495Dental Hygiene National Board Preparation22221.0-2.0
Spring Quarter
DNHY 409Jurisprudence and Practice Management22222.0
DNHY 413Dental Hygiene Topics III22222.0
DNHY 414Personal Finance20202.0
DNHY 453Clinical Seminar III22221.0
DNHY 477Dental Hygiene Clinic III2042044.0
RELR 408Christian Perspectives on Marriage and the Family20202.0
Total Units9964848362316115-117

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) years — Two (2) years (seven [7] academic quarters) at LLU — full-time enrollment required

NOTE: Consult advisor regarding other courses that may be applied towards graduation.