In Indiana, dental hygiene programs are offered at the associate and bachelor degree levels. Some programs are entry-level, while others are designed for existing dental hygienists. Students gain practical skills by participating in clinical experiences. Additionally, some schools house on-campus dental clinics that allow students to develop their technique.
Applicants to dental hygiene programs typically need to complete prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, psychology, and communications, among others. Generally, they must also pass a drug and background screening. Some programs may offer admission on a limited and selective basis.
Indiana University - Northwest
Located in Gary, this university offers a B.S. in dental hygiene. Students in this program complete lecture courses and hands-on training, including clinical experiences at an on-campus dental clinic and in school-affiliated dentists' offices. Course topics cover oral anatomy, preventative dentistry, radiology, and dental materials. Students also take on special topics in applied radiology.
Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne
The dental hygiene associate degree program at Indiana University-Purdue University's Fort Wayne campus requires students to complete prerequisite courses in physiology, human anatomy, chemistry, sociology, communication, writing, and psychology. Other admission requirements include successful drug screenings and criminal background checks. Once accepted to the program, students take courses in local anesthesia, oral pathology, and preventive dentistry, to name a few. They also examine therapeutic and pharmacological treatment options for dental emergencies, the role nutrition plays in dentistry and methods for managing a dental practice.
Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis
Located in the state capital of Indianapolis, this university's dental hygiene associate degree program can be completed in four traditional semesters and one summer session. Students must take 27 courses in such topics as head and neck anatomy, oral pathology, clinical periodontics, preventative dentistry, and senior hygiene. The university also offers a bachelor's degree program in public health dental hygiene to licensed dental hygienists. Requirements for this degree-completion program include 32 units of coursework in topics like health science education and advanced dental science. Curricula for both of these programs are taught by seven dental hygiene faculty members, many of which have graduate degrees related to dental hygiene or health education.
Indiana University - South Bend
The South Bend campus of Indiana University offers an entry-level bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene. Applicants will need to complete prerequisite courses in areas like biomedical science, social science, writing, communications, and ethics. Once admitted, students receive instruction from full- and part-time faculty consisting of experienced dental hygienists and dentists. Professional topics of study include radiology, anesthesia, dental materials, and dental pain management. Students also take a community dental hygiene course that introduces them to techniques for educating school children on proper oral healthcare. Additionally, the on-campus dental facility allows each student to gain as much as 700 hours of experience working with patients who suffer from a full range of dental problems. A degree completion program is also available to associate degree program graduates who would like to enroll in an additional 33 credit hours of coursework.
Ivy Tech Community College - South Bend & Anderson
The South Bend and Anderson locations of Ivy Tech Community College both offer a dental hygiene associate degree. Admission to this program is highly selective; only 15 applicants are accepted each year. To get in, students must pass drug screenings and criminal background checks. They must also complete prerequisite coursework in biology, physiology, chemistry, anatomy, mathematics, life skills and communications. Accepted students commit to a full-time degree program that offers courses during the daytime. Topics of study include oral health, dental anatomy, pharmacology, and dental pathology. At least four clinical rotations are also required.
University of Southern Indiana
Located in Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana's bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene is available through the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Students must complete prerequisite courses in topics like medical terminology, chemistry, nutrition, biostatistics and medical microbiology to be accepted into the program. Course topics cover head and neck anatomy, periodontology, pain management, dental hygiene theory, preventative dentistry, and current issues in oral healthcare. Students are also required to complete a minimum of four clinical rotations in dental hygiene and one practicum in community oral healthcare.
Dental hygienists must be licensed within their state of employment. In Indiana, this requires completing a dental hygiene degree program accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). All seven of Indiana's dental hygiene schools offer CODA-accredited programs. Individuals must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, a clinical exam and a state jurisprudence exam, which covers such topics as infectious waste disposal, state dental hygiene law, and biohazard precautions. Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Southern Indiana are the only schools that do not feature courses designed to help students pass the jurisprudence exam. Successful applicants for licensure must pass a criminal background check as well.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Hygiene Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Indiana University - Northwest||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene||$7,344 in-state; $19,400 out-of-state*|
|Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene||$8,450 in-state; $20,288 out-of-state*|
|Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis||4-year, public; large city|| Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Bachelor of Science in Public Health Dental Hygiene
|$9,465 in-state; $29,821 out-of-state*|
|Indiana University - South Bend||4-year, public; midsized city||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene||$7,344 in-state; $19,400 out-of-state*|
|Ivy Tech Community College- South Bend & Anderson||2-year, public; rural & small town||Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene||$4,368 in-state; $8,402 out-of-state*|
|University of Southern Indiana||4-year, public; midsized suburb||Bachelor's Degree in Dental Hygiene||$8,349 in-state; $19,436 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.