Dental Hygiene, BSDH

School of Medicine

Program Description:

The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree program follows a required three-semester pre-professional year in college with a five-semester curriculum, which begins each year during the spring semester. An additional short session is also included during the summer between the junior and senior years of the Dental Hygiene curriculum. Facilities limit each class to no more the 24 students. In addition to tuition, housing, books, and other usual school expenses, the Division of Dental Hygiene issue student instrument kits costing the student approximately $4,000.00 Additional fees of approximately $2,000.00 annually cover dental supplies, clinic and laboratory, uniforms, graduation fees and Student American Dental Hygienists' Association membership. Fees are subject to change on approval from the Chancellor for the UNM Health Science Center. Students are responsible for transportation fees to and from rotations at off campus sites.

Admission Requirements:

  1. Enrollment in UNM
  2. Completion of ALL courses listed in the pre-professional curriculum.
  3. Submit completed application to:
      Admission Coordinator
      Dental Programs
      MSC09 5020
      1 University of New Mexico
      Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001
  4. A non-refundable application fee of $100.00 must be included with your application. Applications arriving without the application fee will be incomplete and will not be considered.
  5. An overall grade point average of 2.4 or above on a 4.0 scale. (Please note, having attained a 2.4 grade point average does not guarantee acceptance into the program. However, applicants without at least a 2.4 GPA will NOT be considered.)

Preference is given to residents of New Mexico. Age, gender, disability, race, religion and/or national origin are not factors in admission considerations.

Career Opportunities:

Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. Hygienists examine patients’ teeth and gums, recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities. They remove calculus, stains, and plaque from teeth; perform root planing as a periodontal therapy; take and develop dental x rays; and apply cavity-preventive agents such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants. In some States, hygienists administer anesthetics; place and carve filling materials, temporary fillings, and periodontal dressings; remove sutures; and smooth and polish metal restorations.

Dental hygienists work in clean, well-lighted offices. Important health safeguards include strict adherence to proper radiological procedures and the use of appropriate protective devices when administering anesthetic gas. Dental hygienists also wear safety glasses, surgical masks, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this occupation. Fulltime, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available. 

Dental hygienists must be licensed by the state in which they practice. To qualify for licensure in nearly all states, a candidate must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school and pass both a written and clinical examination. The American Dental Association’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations administers the written examination, which is accepted by all states and the District of Columbia. A minimum of an Associate degree or certificate in dental hygiene is generally required for practice in a private dental office. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs. UNM offers dental hygiene degrees at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. 

Contact Information:

Cynthia Guillen: Academic Advisor
(505) 272-8205

Rudy Hunter: Academic Advisor
(505) 272-4513