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Diploma in Dental Hygiene

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  • Objectives
    The Dental Hygiene program prepares you to be the health promotion specialist on the oral health care team as well as a competent clinician and community health advocate. You'll acquire the knowledge and skills needed to provide preventative, educational and therapeutic dental hygiene services. You'll also learn to evaluate research, communicate professionally and practice collaboratively with dentists and other health care professionals. The Diploma in Dental Hygiene will provide you with the educational base you'll need to succeed in the important field of oral health. Continuing your studies is easy as the Diploma program transfers directly into the final year of the Baccalaureate Degree in Dental Hygiene at the University of British Columbia.
  • Academic Title
    Dimploma in Dental Hygiene
  • Course description
    Year 1
    Academic Term 1 (Fall)     Credits

    BIOL 160     Microbiology for Dental Hygiene     2.0
    DHYG 110     Head & Neck Anatomy     3.0
    DHYG 120     Dental Anatomy     1.0
    DHYG 150     Principles and Issues 1     3.0
    DHYG 160     Clinical Theory & Practice 1     7.0
    Total Credits     16.0
    Academic Term 2 (Winter)     Credits

    BIOL 260     General Pathophysiology     3.0
    DHYG 121     Oral Embryology & Histology     1.5
    DHYG 130     Radiology 1     1.5
    DHYG 140     General Dentistry Introduction     1.5
    DHYG 151     Principles and Issues 2     3.0
    DHYG 161     Clinical Theory & Practice 2     7.0
    Total Credits     17.5
    Academic Term 3 (Spring)     Credits

    DHYG 125     Periodontology 1     1.5
    DHYG 126     Oral Pathology 1     1.0
    DHYG 128     Nutrition 1     1.0
    DHYG 162     Clinical Theory & Practice 3     4.0
    DHYG 190     Community Dental Health 1     1.0
    Total Credits     8.5
    Year 2
    Academic Term 4 (Fall)     Credits

    DHYG 210     Pharmacology 1     1.5
    DHYG 223     Periodontology 2     2.0
    DHYG 226     Oral Pathology 2     1.0
    DHYG 228     Nutrition 2     1.0
    DHYG 230     Radiology 2     1.5
    DHYG 250     Principles and Issues 3     1.0
    DHYG 260     Clinical Theory & Practice 4     8.0
    DHYG 290     Community Dental Health 2     1.0
    Total Credits     17.0
    Academic Term 5 (Winter)     Credits

    DHYG 211     Pharmacology 2     2.0
    DHYG 224     Periodontology 3     2.0
    DHYG 227     Oral Pathology 3     2.0
    DHYG 251     Principles and Issues 4     1.0
    DHYG 261     Clinical Theory & Practice 5     8.0
    DHYG 291     Community Dental Health 3     1.5
    Total Credits     16.5
    Practicum (Spring)     Credits

    DHYG 262     Clinical Theory & Practice 6     4.0
    Total Credits     4.0

    BIOL 160 Microbiology for Dental Hygiene and BIOL 260 General Pathophysiology may be taken prior to beginning the program if you have qualified for the program and are awaiting a seat and if seats are available.

    Course Descriptions:


    DHYG 110 Head and Neck Anatomy

    (3 credits) F (4,0,0,0)

    Students are introduced to anatomical and physiological features of the head and neck region, including oral and periodontal anatomy. The course focus is on the healthy/normal continuum that provides the foundation for clinical dental hygiene practice as well as for further study.

    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 160.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): BIOL 160.
    DHYG 120 Dental Anatomy

    (1 credit) F (1,1,0,0)

    Crown and root anatomy, morphology and occlusion will be studied in detail. Students will identify features of crown and root morphology that relate to the identification and differentiation of teeth in addition to occlusal relationships and how these may affect the provision of dental hygiene care.

    Pre or Co-requisite(s): BIOL 160, DHYG 160.
    DHYG 121 Oral Embryology and Histology

    (1.5 credits) W (2,0,0,0)

    Students will identify the sequence of embryological development and the principles of oral histology of the soft and hard tissues of the oral and associated structures. This course builds on the concepts introduced in fall science courses and continues to provide the foundation for clinical dental hygiene practice as well as for further study.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 160.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 130, DHYG 161.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): BIOL 260.
    DHYG 125 Periodontology 1

    (1.5 credits) P (3,0,0,0)

    This course encompasses the fundamental concepts related to periodontal diseases, focusing on the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical characteristics and therapy for plaque-induced gingivitis and chronic periodontitis.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: BIOL 260, DHYG 121, DHYG 161.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 162.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 126.
    DHYG 126 Oral Pathology 1

    (1 credit) P (2,0,0,0)

    The role of the dental hygienist in recognizing oral pathology is examined as part of comprehensive dental hygiene care. Processes and terminology for recognizing and accurate recording of oral lesions are discussed and applied. Dental caries, general characteristics of common soft tissue lesions, and other tooth abnormalities are discussed.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: BIOL 260, DHYG 121, DHYG 161.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 162.
    DHYG 128 Nutrition 1

    (1 credit) P (1.5,0,0,0)

    Students learn about the Canada Food Guide Recommendations and the role of nutrition in oral and general health. Students apply concepts in the analysis of their own diet.

    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 125, DHYG 126, DHYG 162.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 190.
    DHYG 130 Radiology 1

    (1.5 credits) W (2,0,0,0)

    Basic principles of radiation physics, generation, biology and the uses of x-radiation are introduced in this course. Students will also learn the theory behind the basic techniques of radiography for application in clinical dental hygiene.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 160.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 161.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): BIOL 260, DHYG 121, DHYG 140.
    DHYG 140 General Dentistry Introduction

    (1.5 credits) W (2,0,0,0)

    Basic concepts and principles of dental materials used in the prevention and treatment of dental diseases are studied. The interaction between dental materials and the surrounding oral tissues that impact instrumentation are included. Students will learn to discuss the materials available for specific dental problems.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 160.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 121, DHYG 130, DHYG 161.
    DHYG 150 Principles and Issues 1

    (3 credits) F (4,0,0,0)

    This course introduces the profession of dental hygiene. Current concepts of practice are examined with emphasis on roles, professional communications, deportment, responsibility, accountability, and behavioural foundations for health promotion. Legal and ethical aspects of practice are also introduced.

    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 160.
    DHYG 151 Principles and Issues 2

    (3 credits) W (4,0,0,0)

    This course builds on concepts introduced in Principles and Issues 1. Dental hygiene care, as a research-based, wellness-oriented practice is further examined. Research principles and basic statistics are introduced as a basis for analysis of professional literature. Application of dental hygiene theory and health promotion are explored.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 150, DHYG 160.
    DHYG 160 Clinical Theory & Practice 1

    (7 credits) F (5,9,0,0)

    Introduces concepts and principles of preparation, client assessment, and implementation procedures, with a focus on assessment, instrumentation and record keeping. It includes an overview of evaluation of dental hygiene care and beginning skills of problem-solving, teaching/learning, time management, self-evaluation, and professionalism. Related skills are practiced in a clinical setting on manikins and peers.

    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 110, DHYG 120, DHYG 150, BIOL 160.
    DHYG 161 Clinical Theory & Practice 2

    (7 credits) W (4,0,0,9)

    This course presents more advanced aspects of preparation and client assessments. It also introduces and develops planning, implementation and evaluation of dental hygiene care. Development of skills in problem-solving, communication, teaching/learning, communication, self-evaluation, and professionalism are included. Radiology is introduced at a pre-clinical level.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: BIOL 160, DHYG 110, DHYG 120, DHYG 160.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 130.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): BIOL 260, DHYG 121, DHYG 140, DHYG 151.
    DHYG 162 Clinical Theory & Practice 3

    (4 credits) P (4,2,0,9)

    This course continues from DHYG 160 and DHYG 161. All phases of the dental hygiene process are further developed as students gain more experience with unhealthy and abnormal oral conditions. Students practice related skills on manikins/peers prior to providing care for clients in a closely supervised clinical setting.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: BIOL 260, DHYG 161.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 125.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 126, DHYG 128, DHYG 190.
    DHYG 190 Community Dental Health 1

    (1 credit) P (1.5,0,0,0)

    Students study basic concepts in public health including principles of health promotion and the social determinants of health. Included are community dental health issues, oral health delivery modes, and current concepts of health education, and partnerships with community groups.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 121, DHYG 130, DHYG 140, DHYG 151, DHYG 161.
    DHYG 210 Pharmacology 1

    (1.5 credits) F (2,0,0,0)

    Principles of pharmacology and drug therapy are presented and the specific drugs and techniques of pain control used in dentistry are discussed. The successful completion of the local anesthesia portion of this course is required before a student is allowed to deliver local anesthetics in the clinical setting.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 162.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 260.
    DHYG 211 Pharmacology 2

    (2 credits) W (2,0,0,0)

    This course is a continuation of DHYG 210 and builds on the principles discussed there. Additional drugs used in dentistry are presented, as are other families of drugs that impact the delivery of dental treatment.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 210, DHYG 260.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 261.
    DHYG 223 Periodontology 2

    (2 credits) F (2,0,0,0)

    This course applies and builds on the learning from DHYG 125. Topics discussed in this course include: microbiological and immunological aspects of periodontal disease, risk factors, diagnostic indicators, healing after therapy, prognosis and referral, occlusal influences, gingival diseases, common periodontal conditions, and an introduction to chemotherapeutics.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 125.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 230, DHYG 260.
    DHYG 224 Periodontology 3

    (2 credits) W (2,0,0,0)

    This course focuses mainly on other types of periodontal diseases beyond that of plaque-induced gingivitis and chronic periodontitis. Advanced diagnostic techniques and therapeutic interventions, and the role of surgical therapy are discussed.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 210, DHYG 223, DHYG 230, DHYG 260.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 261.
    DHYG 226 Oral Pathology 2

    (1 credit) F (1,0,0,0)

    This course provides continued study of oral pathology, with an emphasis on recognition, significance and accurate description of the clinical appearance of intra oral mucosal lesions. The process of differential diagnosis of oral pathology is also considered.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 126.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 260.
    DHYG 227 Oral Pathology 3

    (2 credits) W (2,0,0,0)

    This course provides advanced study of oral pathology, including intra oral mucosal lesions, characteristics of submucosal oral pathologies and common lesions of the face.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 226.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 261.
    DHYG 228 Nutrition 2

    (1 credit) F (1,0,0,0)

    This course is a continuation of the study of basic nutritional concepts according to the Canada Food Guide and their application to oral health. Concepts are applied in the clinical setting for clients whose dietary choices compromise their oral health. Dietary analysis and recommendations are provided for clients who have diets that compromise their oral health.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: BIOL 260, DHYG 128.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 260.
    DHYG 230 Radiology 2

    (1.5 credits) F (1.5,0,0,0)

    This course expands on the basic radiology concepts from Radiology 1 and focuses on interpretation of oral radiographs. Concepts, principles and applications of advanced and specialized radiography techniques are also discussed.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 125, DHYG 126, DHYG 130, DHYG 162.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 260.
    DHYG 250 Principles and Issues 3

    (1 credit) F (1,0,0,0)

    In this lecture and seminar course students focus on the career aspects of dental hygiene. They study workplace settings and educational opportunities, organizational, financial and marketing initiatives in clinical practice. Contracts, office overhead, insurance, and promotional guidelines are emphasized.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 151, DHYG 162, DHYG 190.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 260.
    DHYG 251 Principles and Issues 4

    (1 credit) W (1.5,0,0,0)

    In this seminar and lecture course the students focus on legal and ethical requirements for dental hygiene practice in BC. Current trends and issues in dental hygiene are discussed and the student learns about the structure and function of professional associations and the regulatory authorities. Registration, scope of practice, quality assurance and political processes are examined.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in: DHYG 250, DHYG 260.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 261.
    DHYG 260 Clinical Theory & Practice 4

    (8 credits) F (4,5,0,9)

    The student continues to study and apply aspects of client assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation on selected clients and through case study. Dental imaging and administration of local anesthetic are applied in a clinical setting. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of case presentation.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 162.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 210, DHYG 230.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 226, DHYG 228, DHYG 250, DHYG 290.
    DHYG 261 Clinical Theory & Practice 5

    (8 credits) W (6,0,0,12)

    Comprehensive clinical skills required for periodontal care within the scope of dental hygiene practice are integrated with previously acquired knowledge and skills. Individualized comprehensive care of clients with special needs will be emphasized.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 260.
    Co-requisite(s): DHYG 211, DHYG 251.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 225, DHYG 227, DHYG 291.
    DHYG 262 Clinical Theory & Practice 6

    (4 credits) P (5,0,0,15)

    Knowledge and skills learned in all dental hygiene courses are integrated into comprehensive clinical dental hygiene care. Emphasis on the transition into private dental practice setting will occur.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 261.
    DHYG 290 Community Dental Health 2

    (1.5 credits) F (1.5,0,0,0)

    This course is a continuation of DHYG 190. The emphasis is on the oral health promotion and community dental health issues. Didactic information will be applied in the community through field experiences.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 190.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 260.
    DHYG 291 Community Dental Health 3

    (1.5 credits) W (1.5,0,0,0)

    This course builds on community health concepts introduced in DHYG 290. The focus is on the role of the dental hygienist as an agent for change, planning programs and marketing oral health. Current community dental health research is also reviewed.

    Prerequisite(s): "B-" in DHYG 290.
    Pre or Co-requisite(s): DHYG 261.

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