Program Overview

Dental hygienists are preventive specialists who provide oral health services rooted in scientific knowledge and a client-centered model of care. It takes a specialized set of dynamic technical and interpersonal skills to clean teeth, take x-rays and promote oral health. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that makes a difference to people’s health and wellness, the Dental Hygiene program will give you reason to smile.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Advanced Diploma
90 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
2024 September
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
2024 September

Your Learning Experience

New Oral Health Clinic - Now Open!

The Dental Hygiene program facilities have received a complete make-over and are returning the clinical portion of the program to Fanshawe's London Campus. The new space features a new, state-of-the-art, public oral health clinic with a dental radiography suite that includes the latest in digital radiography. First-year students will learn on fully functional modern dental manikin simulators to learn instrument skills with an emphasis on ergonomics. Students can safely learn decontamination and sterilization processes on a sterilization centre in their simulation labs, modelled after a typical dental office.


Students in the Dental Hygiene program will study anatomy, microbiology, histology, oral pathology, pharmacology and health promotion, while learning hands-on instrument skills and proper ergonomics by practicing on fully functional, modern dental manikins in simulation labs, modelled after a typical dental office. The lab also comes complete with a sterilization centre where you’ll safely learn decontamination and sterilization processes.

As students progress, they’ll get hands-on clinical experience in our newly renovated and fully-functional public dental clinic. The new space features a dental radiography suite that includes the latest in digital radiography.

Through it all, students work alongside professors in a supportive mentoring environment designed to help them succeed. The program also includes community placements and oral health promotion activities at daycare, public schools, hospitals and healthcare settings.

Upon graduation, students will be ready to complete the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB) examination. The Fanshawe Dental Hygiene program routinely achieves high standings in the graduate pass rate on the NDHCB exam. 

This program prepares students to practice as primary oral health care providers in a variety of practice environments, including clinical, education, health promotion and research. The program focuses on preparing students to function within their scope of practice, in a collaborative manner, with the client, the community and other health care providers. 

Seminars, case study presentations, community health practicums and the clinical setting contribute towards developing a professional committed to the principles of quality assurance and continued competency. Graduates of this program must successfully complete the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination to be eligible for registration by the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario. This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.


Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Dental Hygiene program may work independently and collaboratively with health professionals in a variety of practice settings, including:

  • General and specialty dental practices
  • Private practices
  • Educational institutions
  • Research programs
  • Public health programs
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care settings

Graduates may also find a career outside clinics, including: 

  • Dental office manager
  • Dental supplies sales
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Dental insurance officer
  • Classroom instructor
  • Educational researcher
  • Public health administration
  • Dental hygiene program coordinator


Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Dental Hygiene program:

Dental Hygienist
Provide dependable and professional patient care and promote home care strategies to enhance oral health.

Dental Health Educator
Responsible for promoting oral health in communities across Ontario.



"I highly recommend Fanshawe'’s Dental Hygiene program as I have found the instructors to be very knowledgeable, approachable and caring. I am certain that the clinical experience and guidance I have received will lead me to a successful and rewarding career!"

Erika Leslie
Graduate 2016


Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

1. practise in a professional and competent manner within the defined scope of practice and consistent with current regulations and standards of practice.

2. evaluate clients’ oral health status using determinants of health and risk analysis to identify needs, justify treatment decisions and provide appropriate referrals to other health care professionals as required.

3. design, implement and evaluate a range of primary, interceptive, therapeutic, preventative, and on-going oral health care services to meet the unique needs of clients.

4. analyze oral health issues in need of advocacy, identify networks and promote actions that will support change and facilitate access to care.

5. identify, select, implement and evaluate quality assurance standards and protocols which contribute to a safe and effective working environment.

6. establish and maintain professional and interprofessional relationships which contribute to client care safety and positive health care outcomes.

7. facilitate the development of specific oral health attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviours in clients by selecting and utilizing principles of teaching and learning.

8. develop and present a model for a DH practice that addresses relevant business principles, current legislation and standards of practice


Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Lara Timler, BA, B.Ed., MPH, RDH 


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or a mature applicant with a minimum final grade of 65 in each of the following courses:

- Grade 12 English (C or U)

- Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)

- Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry (C or U)

- Grade 11 Math (U or M) or Grade 12 Math (C* or U)

This is a competitive program; we receive more applications from qualified applicants than we have seats available. Applicants who do not meet admission requirements may choose to do the one-year Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees preparatory program. Graduates who have a final cumulative GPA of 3.0 and no grade in the courses listed above below 65% will meet all the admission requirements for this program, gain academic skills and make a future application more competitive. Please see for details on competitive programs.

* Grade 12 Foundations for College Math (MAP4C) may not be adequate academic preparation for this program. We recommend a minimum of MCT4C if applicants are choosing a college level Math to meet the requirements.

International students, please note: you must successfully graduate from Pre-Health Sciences before being considered for this program.

Competitive Programs
This is a highly competitive program; the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of seats available. Post-Secondary education may be required for successful admission to this program. Please see for details. International students, please note: you must successfully graduate from Pre-Health Sciences before being considered for this program.
International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
TOEFL iBT 92 (22 writing, 26 speaking, 20 reading and 20 listening)
IELTS Academic Overall score of 7.0 with no score less than 6.5 in reading and listening and a score of 7.0 in writing and speaking
CAEL 70 in writing, reading and speaking and a score of 80 in listening
PTE Academic 65
Cambridge English Overall score of 185 with no language skill less than 176 and a score of 185 in listening
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall 135 with Literacy minimum 130 and no other subscores below 125


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)
  • It is highly recommended that students be proficient in word processing skills before entry into the program. Students should consider enrolling in a computer course to ensure that skills are attained prior to entry in the program.
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should develop personal responsibility, emotional maturity and those characteristics which will enable them to collaborate with allied health care providers while meeting the oral health needs of the public in a variety of dental hygiene practice settings
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  • Admission to the Fanshawe College Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program does not guarantee admission in a subsequent year to the Dental Hygiene program. Successful completion of the Fanshawe College Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program, however, does enable the student to be given additional consideration when applying to the Dental Hygiene program.  The Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program is the preferred designated preparatory program for admission to the Dental Hygiene program.
  • *Students who are currently registered in the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program at Fanshawe College or at any Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology must successfully complete their Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees Ontario College Certificate with a minimum 3.0 GPA by April 30, 2022 and meet the academic pre-requisite courses and grades for the Dental Hygiene program in order to be eligible for admission consideration in the immediately following academic year to the Dental Hygiene program.
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive.  Please refer to for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database (required for Year 2 and Year 3)
  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and CPR (Level BLS)
  • Evidence of Good Health
  • Placement Agreement

Covid-19 vaccination is highly recommended for oral healthcare workers and those working with vulnerable populations. Hospitals, long-term care facilities and some community agencies continue to require COVID-19 vaccines for student placements.  Although COVID-19 vaccination is not required to attend Fanshawe College, most of our clinical placement sites require students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to participate in mandatory placement activities. Students who are not fully vaccinated cannot be provided with a clinical placement for their program, and therefore, will not be able to meet the requirements for graduation. Please be advised that additional COVID-19 shots and/or other requirements may be required by placement agencies at any time. Every effort will be made to inform students as soon as possible if there are updates to pre-placement requirements.  

Additional information: 

- Student placements are mandatory, assigned learning experiences to meet the learning outcomes of several courses. Student requests for placement locations and times cannot be accommodated. 

- Placement locations are in London and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements and all related costs to and from clinical placement sites. 

- Student placements may be scheduled during days, afternoons and evenings throughout the semester based on the need and availability of placement sites.


Level 1
Gen Ed - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1048Reason & Writing 1 for Health Sciences3
This course will introduce health sciences students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
ANAT-1027Anatomy & Physiology3
This introductory course involves the study and review of the structures and functions of the human body. The major body systems are presented through an examination of the relationship between structure and function, the concept of homeostasis and the interrelationship of the body organ systems. The material includes anatomical terminology, with an examination of the major body systems.
BIOL-1017Oral Microbiology & Immunology3
This hybrid online course introduces the student to the study of general and oral microbiology and introductory immunology. An overview of microbiological classifications, ecology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis will be presented along with an introduction to innate and acquired immunity and the inflammatory response to oral pathogens. Emphasis will be placed on the pathogenic bacteria, viruses and yeasts of dental importance.
DENT-1037Dental Hygiene Radiography 12.5
This course provides a basic knowledge of radiation generation, factors influencing image formation, radiation hazards, and safety codes. The student will be introduced to dental radiography equipment and the techniques for exposing, processing, and mounting radiographs. Quality assurance and asepsis control considerations will be emphasized. Application of the Process of Care model will be outlined with all aspects of client exposure, safety and radiographic protocol considerations.
DENT-1045Dental Hygiene Theory & Practice 16.5
This course establishes the foundation for the theory and pre-clinical skills required for client care. Theory relates to study of the fundamentals of the dental hygiene process of care with particular emphasis on assessment skills, instrumentation, principles of ergonomics, health and safety, infection control procedures and response to basic medical emergencies. Integration of concepts studied in other courses will prepare students for practical application of dental hygiene process of care. Practical experiences relate to the concepts and principles of client assessment, instrumentation, and preparation for implementation of additional dental hygiene skills.
DENT-1046Health Promotion & Disease Prevention 13
This course is an introduction to oral health promotion with emphasis on oral health education and disease prevention strategies for the individual client. The etiology and pathogenesis of common hard and soft tissue oral infections and oral self-care measures to control them are introduced. Indications for mechanical devices and chemical agents used to promote oral health are supported by current research and best practices. A determinants of health approach to client education, including theories of behavioural change and principles of learning are explored.
DENT-1047Professional Practice 13
This course relates to the profession of dental hygiene and the regulatory context for dental hygiene practice. The historical progression of the profession of dental hygiene in Ontario will be examined including the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, dental hygiene scope of practice and recognition of the various roles of the dental hygienist. The significance of standards of practice, quality assurance, ethical principles, collaborative care, and the role of professional associations will be explored. As primary healthcare professionals, dental hygienists require communication skills (verbal, written, electronic). This course will introduce interpersonal and electronic communication techniques for professional interactions.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.