Dental Hygiene student prepares to examine a student.
Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Explore your options at TWU. Whether you are just starting your education to become a dental hygienist or you are a registered dental hygienist (RDH) who wants to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we have a program for you. Learn more about our academic degree options.

Why Study Dental Hygiene at TWU?

A dental hygiene degree from Texas Woman’s opens up career opportunities to you beyond the dentist office. Our programs teach you critical thinking and evidence-based decision making. We also offer a global context to dental hygiene that you won’t find at other universities.

Our on-campus dental hygiene clinic will give you hands-on clinical experience that looks great on your resume when looking for a job after college.

Smiling woman with blond hair

I have been working in general dentistry for four years. The passion I have for this career is all because of the TWU professors and clinical instructors who made my transition from student to professional so smooth.

Brooke Leenerts, RDH, BSDH '12

Career Opportunities

While many dental hygienists work in dentist offices, there are other career options available to you after you earn your degree. According to the American Dental Hygiene Association, opportunities include:

  • Clinical
  • Corporate
  • Public Health
  • Research
  • Education
  • Administration
  • Entrepreneurship

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

As a member of the oral health care profession, a dental hygienist working in a dentist office provides treatment to prevent and control cavities and gum disease. An RDH has passed state and national exams and is licensed by a state to practice and educate patients on proper oral health care.

While specific job tasks vary depending on the work location, most dental hygienists are involved in these day-to-day procedures:

  • Patient monitoring, including health history reviews, dental charting and oral analysis.
  • Exposing, processing, and interpreting dental x-rays
  • Removing plaque and deposits from above and below the gum line of the teeth
  • Providing non-surgical treatment of periodontal (gum) diseases
  • Applying cavity preventives, such as fluorides and sealants, to the teeth and therapeutic agents to treat periodontal diseases
  • Teaching patients proper oral hygiene techniques to maintain healthy teeth and gums
  • Counseling patients about disease control and the importance of good nutrition
  • Developing individualized oral hygiene programs for patients