Dental Hygiene ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2020


The purpose of this study was to assess the education that dental hygiene students receive in practicing within schools and public health settings. The settings assessed were outside the classroom, student clinic and student rotation sites. Data were gathered by a survey/questionnaire created by Red Cap, through the University of New Mexico. The survey/questionnaire was available to participants for ten days and contained a total of 13 questions. The survey was sent to dental hygiene program directors within Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited dental hygiene programs throughout the United States. Ninety-four responses were collected. Most educators hold a master’s degree (75%), with a non-dental concentration as their highest degree and more than 21 years of experience in dental hygiene education at (46.8%). Most educators reported working within a community college at (54.8%), with 70-90 hours in their entire curriculum (56.7%) and 4-6 hours dedicated to dental public health (48.9 %). Results showed that students spend more than 21 hours in rotations through one or more of these areas (39.4%)- (FQHC, Public health clinics, Indian Health Service Clinics, Head Start/Early Head Start/WIC, Military Base Clinics, School-Based Clinics, VA Dental Clinics). Students showed the most interest in working within public health clinics (35.6%). Upon graduation the most common degree awarded is the Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene (51.6%). Educators report their public health curriculum is highly effective (60.5%).

Degree Name

Dental Hygiene

Level of Degree


Department Name

Dental Medicine

First Committee Member (Chair)

Christine Nathe RDH, MS

Second Committee Member

Christina Calleros RDH,MS

Third Committee Member

Lindsey Lee RDH,MS




Dental hygiene, Public Health, Education

Document Type