What Education Do You Need to Become a Dental Hygienist?

Dental Hygiene Education

A diploma or degree in dental hygiene from an accredited dental hygiene program (or equivalent) is required.  Applicants who obtained their dental hygiene education from a non-accredited dental hygiene program, must meet the additional requirements, as required by legislation. These requirements are outlined in Registration Information ( Review the section entitled Graduates of Non-Accredited Programs.)

In Nova Scotia, dental hygiene education is offered at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Dentistry There are two options offered at Dalhousie. Both meet the educational requirements to be licensed as a dental hygienist in Nova Scotia:

  • Three-year Diploma which includes a pre-professional university year where foundational sciences are completed. Following this pre-professional year, a two-year intensive curriculum delivers a course of study which will support evidence-based practice. Many students entering the diploma program having already completed an undergraduate degree.
  • Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH) Program offers an additional year where student take a series of courses which build upon the knowledge base of the diploma program. Students have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in the areas of applied research, teaching methodologies, health policy, and entrepreneurship. The BDH program allows students to choose elective studies in their particular area of interest.