Dental hygiene is a rapidly growing field in the dental industry. In fact, research indicates that the field is expected to grow 19 percent over the next decade. The higher than average job growth rate, and excellent pay makes dental hygiene a popular route for many students.

Resource: 15 Most Affordable Online Dental Hygiene Degree Programs

Dental hygienists must typically complete a bachelors coursework with a heavy core of pre-requisites in science-related courses. Here are a few of the key courses you'll experience when obtaining this degree:

Head and Neck Anatomy

Head and neck anatomy is an obvious part of the job for hygienists. You'll be working exclusively in the oral cavity, so it's important to understand the general make-up of the mouth and how to effectively navigate for the cleaning. You'll also study the teeth and tongue as well as the throat and how it interacts with the oral cavity. This will be important for performing hygienist work on a daily basis and in helping position your patients for a successful visit.

Oral Hygiene

As a hygeniest you'll be responsible for the teeth cleaning and gum disease assessment. This course will offer basics on hygeneic care for the oral cavity and how to maintain a germ and infection free zone. You'll study proper sterilization of equipment as well as ways to reduce inflammation and swelling in the mouth. You might also be instructed on ways to communicate with patients about infection and good oral health habits.


Completing all required x-rays is another task typically assigned to a dental hygienist. That's why coursework in radiology is so important. This course will explore the foundations of radiology and will also uncover methods for reviewing x-rays and examining them for any potential trouble areas. You'll learn about the technologies associated with radiology and will become familiar with how to use these high-tech devices in a clinical setting.

Nutrition Concepts

Nutrition impacts the strength and and health of your teeth and your body's overall ability to fight disease. Students studying dental hygiene will explore nutritional concepts and will engage in case studies and experiments aiming to demonstrate this delicate relationship. This coursework will provide students a basis for offering recommendations and identifying potential causes of tooth decay.

Medical Ethics

As with any profession in the medical field, there is an understood code of ethics when it comes to patient privacy. Students of dental hygiene will need to be familiar with these ethical concepts and will be held accountable for following these principles. Students will explore how to talk to patients about sensitive health information and you'll also gain an understanding of how to safely and securely manage and communicate this information to the appropriate parties.

These are just a few of the many unique courses you'll experience when pursuing your bachelors in this unique industry. This field of work can be rewarding, lucrative, and flexible. You'll have the opportunity to impact others in a positive and meaningful way. If you're looking for your next career move, consider dental hygiene today!