Located in Orem, Utah, at the base of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, the Dental Hygiene Program at UVU provides an incredible clinical and academic opportunity for students interested in preventive oral healthcare and the promotion of good health. Through our program, students develop a commitment to lifelong learning, and pride in the profession.

Our program enables students to pursue expanded professional and educational opportunities, emphasizing skill development in critical thinking, ethical decision-making and leadership. We combine the study of dental hygiene theory with supervised clinical practice. Students will study the important aspects of dental hygiene care and learn to prevent oral disease, while applying their growing body of theoretical knowledge to the work done in the clinic. In the state-of-the-art UVU Clinic, students will provide direct care to patients of all ages under the guidance of our dedicated clinical instructors. Students will also gain confidence, and refine interpersonal skills through engaging with the diverse people who visit the clinic for services. We provide services to more than 2,000 patients per year.

As a key member of the healthcare team, the dental hygienist works together with the dentist to meet the oral health needs of patients and thereby improve patients' quality of life. Students will also take part in interprofessional education activities that prepare them to work with other future health care professionals to practice comprehensive and collaborative team-based care. Students will have opportunities to study with other students in medicine, nursing, and respiratory therapy, as well as other community health majors.

Community Outreach

UVU has a unique opportunity to work in the community with portable dental units. This gives students the ability to get out into the community. In the Orem/Provo area, UVU Dental Hygiene has many different facilities where students provide oral care for the oral disparity populations. We work with groups that do not have dental insurance or the funds for expensive dental care. This fills a great need in our community. Our students benefit from this, gaining the knowledge, experience and compassion needed to treat this population.

Dental Students standing in a Food and Care Coalition kitchen

Share-a-Smile

UVU partners with Share-a-Smile and students spend one day a week doing dental services for the patrons of the Food and Care Coalition in their 3-chair clinic.

 

Two students clean two children's teeth

Schools

Our students spend two days a week in the neighboring Title One elementary schools with our portable equipment, doing x-rays, prophylaxis and fluoride on children in grades 2 - 6.

A UVU dental student and a U of U dental student work on a patient

Collaboration

We also have a rotation with the University of Utah School of Dentistry, where both hygiene students and dental students learn how to work together for the enlightenment of both parties.

To schedule a time when UVU Dental Hygiene students can come assist your organization, please call 801-863-7536

Find Oral Care activities on our Community Blog

Scope of Practice and Career Opportunities

Dental hygienists, under the supervision of licensed dentists, provide preventive dental care to patients. These services include, but are not limited to, dental prophylaxis and debridement, topical fluoride application, pit and fissure sealant placement, administration of local anesthetics and dental radiographs. Dental hygienists provide patient education of oral health care procedures. Dental hygienists work in private practice, as well as in school systems and public health agencies, Federal and State agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, for the World Health Organization and for foreign governments.

Some of the projected employment growth in this occupation is due to recovery from the COVID-19 recession that began in 2020. Demand for dental services will increase as the large baby-boom population ages and as people keep more of their original teeth than in previous generations. Studies linking oral health and general health, along with efforts to expand access to oral hygiene services, will continue to drive demand for preventive dental services, including those performed by hygienists. In addition, demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow as state laws increasingly allow dental hygienists to work at the top of their training. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm#tab-6

The latest U.S. Department of Labor statistics state that:

  1. Dental hygiene is projected to be one of the 30 fastest growing occupations
  2. Population growth and greater retention of natural teeth will stimulate the demand for Dental Hygienists
  3. Opportunities for part-time and flexible schedules are common
  4. Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. It is expected there will be a national demand for dental hygienists in the coming years. The job market in Utah has recently seen a growth in the need for dental hygienists.

Current employment opportunities

Salary Report

Beyond the Classroom

As a UVU Dental Hygiene student, you also have the opportunity to participate in optional global and regional activities designed to enhance your worldview, and introduce you to diverse populations.

Group of students on Guatemala Humanitarian Trip

Guatemala Humanitarian Trip

Dental Hygiene students with patient at Capitol Reef Excursion

Capitol Reef Excursion

3 Dental Hygiene students with the New York Experience

New York Experience

Accreditation

The UVU Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation and has been granted the status of Accreditation without reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago 60611.

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Department Statistics

UVU Institutional Research hosts collections of data on the UVU Dental Hygiene Program. Check out current and past enrollment numbers, graduation rates, faculty profiles and more.

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