Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Graduates of the dental hygiene program serve as consumer advocates for oral health care. They are an integral part of the dental team, able to provide instruction and therapeutic services in the prevention of oral diseases. The 120 credit hour curriculum combines general education, biomedical science, and dental science and dental hygiene courses culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree. Students participate in didactic, laboratory and clinical education experiences. Successful completion of the program prepares the graduate for the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the regional clinical examination. Successful completion of the written and clinical board is required for licensure in selected state of practice.
Admission to the program is highly selective. Students should consult College of Health Sciences Advising Coordinator concerning admission, progression, and graduation requirements. A grade of "C" or above is required in all science/math and major courses in order to progress within the program.


The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is here.





The Dental Hygiene Program derives its purposes and functions from the mission statement of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. Our primary purpose is to provide the highest quality education while recognizing and respecting the dignity of each individual student. We are committed to contributing to the oral health needs of the community by providing high quality care in a cost efficient manner.
The Dental Hygiene Program strives to provide a variety of quality academic, laboratory, preclinical and clinical learning experiences that prepare students to assume the role of a dental hygienist in a variety of practice settings. Students, while having the responsibility for their own learning, are provided with an environment for effective learning by the faculty. The Dental Hygiene faculty encourages students to attain their professional goals while realizing their individual potential as learners and beginning professionals.

Program Goals

  1. To graduate clinically competent and ethical dental hygienists who will promote the values of oral and general health and wellness to the public.
  2. To provide a quality educational program that meets the needs of the students, employers and educational community.
  3. To graduate dental hygienists who are able to initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  4. To create a physical and emotional atmosphere conducive to learning.
  5. To graduate dental hygienists who possess transferable skills, e.g. in communication, problem solving, and critical thinking, in order to take advantage of opportunities for professional growth and development.

Program Learning Outcomes

 Upon completion of the Dental Hygiene Program, graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate competence in all graduate competencies set forth by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to become successful and productive hygienists to deliver optimal care to patients in the private healthcare setting.
  2. Be clinically competent in assessing, exposing and electronic storing of dental radiographs when delivering care to patients in Dental Hygiene Clinic.
  3. Apply the knowledge to deliver the Dental Hygiene Process of Care to patient by: assessing, dental hygiene diagnosing, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Students will demonstrate the provision of dental hygiene care to promote client health and wellness using critical thinking and problem solving skills in the provision of an evidence-based practice.
  4. Communicate effectively to patients and other dental healthcare professionals.  
  5. Access and evaluate appropriate information through written and electronic means.
  6. Apply ethical frameworks to resolve a variety of ethical dilemmas.

 Program Exceeds Pass Rate Standards

The UAFS Dental Hygiene Program has exceeded the accreditation standards for the pass rate average on both the written national board dental hygiene examination and the regional clinical examination.

Dental Hygiene First Write Pass Rates
National Board Exam
National Board Exam pass rates will be reported on each graduating class.

Date Candidates Taking Candidates Passing % Pass Rate
March 2001 12 12 100
March 2002 11 11 100
March 2003 10 10 100
March 2004 11 11 100
March 2005 13 13 100
March 2006 15 15 100
March 2007 14 14 100
March 2008 14 14 100
March 2009 13 13 100
March 2010 16 16 100
March 2011 16 16 100
March 2012 15 15 100
March 2013 15 15 100
March 2014 14 14 100
March 2015 15 15 100
March 2016 11 11 100
March 2017 10 10 100
March 2018 11 11 100