Dental Hygiene
Location: Dentistry Building
5981 University Avenue
Carleton Campus
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-2730
Fax: (902) 494-2111


Dental Hygiene was first offered as a formal educational program in 1913 at the Fones School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA. In 1961, a diploma program in dental hygiene was established in the Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University and in 2009 a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH) degree completion year was added as a new program.

Dental Hygienists are health professionals educated to prevent dental disease and help people maintain oral health. Their activities in oral health promotion are both clinical and educational and take place in private dental offices, schools, clinics, hospitals, independent practice, long term care and other community settings.

Most Dental hygienists are employed in private dental offices. There are, however, other areas of practice such as local governments and schools, provincial and federal government departments, industry, hospitals, research and education.

In Nova Scotia and several other provinces dental hygienists can establish their own practice.

Courses in the dental hygiene programs are offered within the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry. The educational program is supplemented by student attendance in Faculty-operated community-based clinics. The School of Dental Hygiene is located on Carleton Campus at Dalhousie University.

The School of Dental Hygiene, Faculty of Dentistry offers a full-time two-year Diploma of Dental Hygiene program and an optional degree completion program. The degree completion program provides dental hygiene diploma graduates the opportunity to further their studies in the field of dental hygiene. The degree completion program may be completed full-time (over a one-year period) or part-time (over a two-year period). Graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Dental hygiene degree. Enrolment is limited to 16 students, with preference given to full-time applicants.

University regulators applicable to the students of all Faculties are found in the general section of this Calendar.

Provincial Regulations

Students are reminded that the Diploma in Dental Hygiene is not the only requirement for admission to practice in any province. The regulations for admission to practice are established by the licensing board of the province in which the person desires to practice.


The two-year program leads to a Diploma in Dental Hygiene.


The degree completion program leads to a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene. Students must have successfully completed a Diploma in Dental Hygiene and be eligible for licensure in Nova Scotia. The degree completion program may be completed full-time over a one-year period, or it may be completed part-time, over a two-year period.

Transfer Credits from Dental Hygiene to the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Science

Students who have completed the Diploma in Dental Hygiene at Dalhousie University may receive five credits towards a BA or BSc.

Applicants should seek additional information from the Faculties of Science and Arts and Social Sciences.