Ostrow’s bachelor of science (BS) in dental hygiene provides students with a uniquely comprehensive dental hygiene education that is internationally renowned for excellence.
- Among the more than 300 dental hygiene programs in the United States, only 55 — including USC — confer a bachelor’s degree.
- The BS in dental hygiene requires successful completion of the dental hygiene curriculum, which includes coursework in the basic sciences and clinical and general education.
- USC dental hygiene students learn about the ethics, values, skills and knowledge essential to the profession. They learn to assess the patient’s medical, dental and social histories, and are prepared to provide educational, clinical and consultative services to individuals and populations of all ages, including the medically compromised, mentally or physically challenged and socially or culturally disadvantaged.
- The program emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention as well as the dental hygienist’s role in the community. Nutritional counseling and tobacco cessation strategies are included in the curriculum.
- Hands-on learning helps students solve problems, interact with dentists, treat a wide variety of patients, perform preventive procedures and evaluate patient outcomes.
- Our program provides dental hygiene students with opportunities to learn from our prestigious dentistry and dental hygiene faculty and work alongside our talented dental students.
- Our faculty includes renowned experts in patient education, advanced non-periodontal therapy, clinical research and community outreach.
- Our faculty members are editors and authors of some of the most influential journals and textbooks in the dental hygiene profession. Most importantly, every faculty member is dedicated to assisting students.
- Our graduates go on to become expert clinicians, educators, researchers, health advocates and public health professionals.
- About 70 percent of all dental hygienists work in private dental offices, 20 percent work in local public health and school programs, and the remainder work in state and federal health programs, industry settings, research positions and teaching.
To prepare dental hygienists to possess the skills and knowledge to competently assess, plan, implement and evaluate patient care services for all populations.
The student will demonstrate the ability to integrate foundational knowledge and clinical skills to deliver the highest standard of dental hygiene care to all populations and periodontal types using the dental hygiene process of care.
To prepare dental hygienists who will apply ethical reasoning and professional responsibility in performing patient care services and in interactions with faculty, peers and staff.
The student will provide skilled care using the highest professional knowledge, judgment and ethical reasoning, and decision-making following the ADHA Code of Ethics and with respect for all state and federal laws.
To prepare dental hygienists to possess the skills and knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate public oral health programs.
The student will assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs in a variety of settings to promote health and disease prevention among diverse population groups.
To prepare dental hygienists who will use scientific research in problem-solving and critical decision-making for all professional activities.
The student will utilize principles of research methodology in order to evaluate scientific literature and synthesize information in a critical and effective manner to apply evidence-based approaches to patient care.
To develop dental hygienists who apply self-assessment skills to facilitate the ability to be lifelong learners.
The student will demonstrate the ability to evaluate and reflect on their professional growth as a strategy for lifelong learning.
DENTAL HYGIENE PROGRAM CURRICULUM SNAPSHOT
Our dental hygiene curriculum prepares graduates to assume the many roles the profession offers: clinician, educator, public health program planner, advocate and researcher. Graduates also are well prepared to pursue a variety of master’s degrees, including in public health, gerontology and craniofacial biology.
The sample dental hygiene curriculum below provides an overview of a typical progression through the five-trimester program, which requires 88 units: 76 in dental hygiene and 12 in general education. Ostrow’s Curriculum Committee continuously reviews and enhances the curriculum to ensure students graduate with the competencies essential to their role as health care providers.
Trimester 1 (Fall)
|Fundamentals of Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice||DHYG 311a||3|
|Patient Education in Preventive Dental Care||DHYG 316||1|
|Oral Biochemistry||DBIO 310||2|
|Basic Tissues & Histology & Embryology||DHIS 310||2|
|Principles of Oral RadiologyDIAG 521||DIAG 521||2|
|Fundamentals of Dental Morphology||OCCL 310||1|
|Dental Morphology LabDHYG 314L||DHYG 314L||1|
|Introduction to Periodontal Diseases||PERI 310ab||1|
|Head and Neck AnatomyANAT 521||ANAT 521||2|
|Infection Control||OMOD 506||1|
Trimester 2 (spring)
|Pain & Anxiety Control||AMED 524||2|
|Fundamentals of Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice||DHYG 311b||3|
|Preventive Dental Therapy||DHYG 320||2|
|Radiographic Techniques||DIAG 415||1|
|Microbiology & Immunology||MBIO 310||2|
|Intro to Periodontal Disease 2||PERI 310b||1|
|Medicine and Pathology a,b||PTHL 312ab||1/3|
Trimester 3 (summer)
|Emergency Medicine||AMED 502||2|
|Dental Specialties||DHYG 318||2|
|Introduction to Advanced Dental Hygiene||DHYG 401||2|
|Clinic: Dental Hygiene||DHYG 410a||3|
|Research Methods||DHYG 424||2|
|Dental Materials||DMAT 316L||2|
|Interactional Skills in Dental Hygiene||HBHV 310||1|
|Basic Periodontal Therapy||PERI 415||1|
|Medicine and Pathology||PTHL 312c||2|
Trimester 4 (fall)
|Clinic: Dental Hygiene||DHYG 410b||6|
|Advanced Dental Hygiene||DHYG 414a||2|
|Preventive Dental Care Programs||DHYG 412||1|
|Community Dental Health||DHYG 516a||2|
|Dentistry for Children||PEDO 310||1|
|Advanced Periodontology||PERI 504||1|
|Principles of Pharmacology||DPHR 410||2|
Trimester 5 (spring)
|Advanced Dental Hygiene||DHYG 414b||2|
|Clinic: Dental Hygiene||DHYG 410c||6|
|Community Dental Health||DHYG 516b||2|
|Essentials of D.H. Practice||DHYG 422||1|
|Geriatric and Special Patients||GSPD 504||2|
Ostrow students, with faculty supervision, provide free dental care to more than 17,500 low-income individuals each year through our Mobile Dental Clinic program and numerous local clinics and community events.
Ostrow’s dental hygiene students gain invaluable experience working directly with patients early in the curriculum and throughout their tenure at the school. In addition to collectively providing oral health services to some 12,000 patients each year in the school’s faculty-supervised, student-run clinics, dental hygiene students also offer free services to more than 17,500 low-income individuals each year through the Mobile Dental Clinic program, health fairs and other community service programs.
BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN AND INFECTION CONTROL TRAINING
The Dental Hygiene program complies with all local, state and federal infection control policies, including the application of Standard Precautions as stipulated by current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Written policies and instruction on infection-control protocol to minimize the risk of disease transmission is provided in courses throughout the curriculum, at yearly required blood-borne pathogen training sessions and through documents such as the Dental Hygiene and Dental Clinic Manual. Compliance of safety practices is evaluated throughout students’ clinical experience to ensure a safe educational and work environment.
LIMITATION OF ACTIVITY
Ostrow follows CDC work restrictions for health care personnel infected with or exposed to major infectious diseases in the dental hygiene clinic. A copy of work restriction recommendations is found within the Exposure Control Plan.
ENFORCEMENT OF PRACTICE LIMITATIONS OR MODIFICATIONS
Any student or personnel who engage in unsafe or careless clinical practices that create risks to the health of patients, employees or students shall be subject to disciplinary action. When such actions are brought to the attention of the program director, the student or personnel may be suspended immediately from all patient care activities pending a full investigation of the matter.
EXPOSURE TO BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS
Personnel or students who are exposed to a blood-borne pathogen in the course of their clinical care are expected to follow the procedures set forth in the Exposure Control Plan. If a student should be exposed to a patient’s body fluids in a manner that may transmit a blood-borne or infectious disease, the patient will be asked to be tested for disease.
Environmental hazards of dental hygiene practice include: disorders associated with repetitive activities, exposure to high-decibel sounds, exposure to hazardous chemicals or substances, accidental injury, exposure to radiation and allergic reactions to latex or other chemical agents.
COMMUNICATION OF BLOOD-BORNE PATHOGEN POLICY TO DENTAL HYGIENE CLINIC PATIENTS
Patients of the Dental Hygiene Clinic are informed of blood-borne pathogen policies at their initial appointments in the clinic. The school’s Blood-Borne Pathogens Policy and Exposure Control Plan are available upon request in the dental hygiene clinic.