Dental Hygiene

Combine courses in anatomy, physiology, medical microbiology and more, with hands-on learning in our Dental Health Clinic located right on the Bangor campus. Under the supervision of UMA’s outstanding staff, you’ll work on real patients in our Clinic, fully preparing you to enter upon graduation into this highly in-demand, well paying profession.

Degree Offered: B.S. and A.S. in Dental Hygiene
Certificate in Dental Assisting Offered on the Bangor campus


About the Dental Hygiene Program

Working in classrooms, labs, a campus Dental Health Clinic, and in the community, our Dental Health students are prepared for positions of responsibility in a variety of settings, including dental offices, schools and public health agencies.

The programs’ unique curriculum combines advanced dental health courses with general studies classes, so that our students are both well rounded and ready upon graduation to perform clinical services, such as patient assessment, instrumentation, dental radiography, application of fluorides and sealants, and administration of local anesthesia. Students are also trained as oral health educators to teach patients and the community the principles of preventive oral health care.

The centerpiece of the program is the campus Dental Health Clinic which includes the type of equipment our students are likely to find once employed. Most important, our students get to work on actual patients from the community, which makes the transition from college to job almost seamless.

The Dental Hygiene Program is just one of two in the state of Maine, and the only in Eastern Maine. The Dental Assisting Program is the only CODA accredited assisting program in the state. Both programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.   

The University of Maine at Augusta-Bangor Dental Health Programs is scheduled for accreditation review in September 2014. 

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with the accreditation standards.  The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

If you would like to file a complaint, a copy of the appropriate accreditation standards for the Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene program and/or the Commission’s policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611-2678.

The Programs must retain in their files documentation of any complaints related to the accreditation standards since the last comprehensive review in 2007.  The Programs also must file information to document compliance with this policy.  See Comment Period.

Skills You'll Acquire

UMA’s Dental Health programs consistently produce caring, competent, knowledgeable professionals who provide a valuable service to their communities. Additional skills and abilities found in UMA Dental Health graduates are listed below:

CommunicationHuman Development
Promoting awareness of health issues
Counseling patients about tobacco cessation
Taking patient histories
Counseling about dental decay prevention
Interacting with patients
Assessing individual needs
Managing patients throughout lifespan
Understanding basic human needs
Clarifying values
Understanding medical terminology
Utilizing precision tools
Using local anesthesia for hygiene purposes
Detecting and removing calculus and plaque
Applying fluoride
Toothbrush and rotary polishing
Applying sealant
Utilizing infection control
Placing medicaments
Assessing medical, nutritional and dental histories
Determining implications
Behaving professionally
Making ethical decisions and judgments
Applying theory to clinical practice
Implementing and evaluating plans


Careers You Can Seek

The certificate program in Dental Assisting prepares students for the Dental Assisting National Board exam and for entry-level assisting positions. The Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene prepares students for entry-level positions in Dental Hygiene and may have application to other fields. Completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene further broadens one’s career opportunities. The selected list which follows indicates a range of career possibilities.

Health CareCareers With Similar Skills
Chairside Dental Assistant
Clinical Dental Hygienist
Dental Lab Technician
Public Dental Hygienist
Patient Educator
Public Heath Hygienist
Public Health Supervision Status
Orthodontic Dental Assistant
Oral Surgery Dental Assistant
Military Dental Assistant & Hygienist
Dental Office Manager
Podiatric Medical Assistants
Physical Therapy Assistants
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Ophthalmic Medical Assistants
Dental Ceramist*
Education/Human ServicesBusiness
State Oral Health Program Director*
Dental Hygiene Educator
Community Educator
College Professor*
Tobacco Cessation Counselor
Public Health/Government Clinics
Dental Company Educator*
Pharmaceutical Sales
Dental Medical Equipment Salesperson
Dental Health Researcher*
Consultant for Dental Offices

*Baccalaureate or graduate level study is generally required for these occupations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. competently practice dental hygiene in a variety of health care and educational settings
  2. demonstrate concern for the quality of care
  3. exhibit an intellectual curiosity which will enable them to respond to a changing profession and society