Dental Hygiene student wearing scrubs, safety glasses, a mask and latex gloves practising oral health care on a patient simulator

Join the oral health-care team as a dental hygienist

Dental Hygiene Ontario College Advanced Diploma program

Top scores in student and employer satisfaction. State-of-the-art learning facilities. Great community connections. Excellent careers!

Program code DNTH
Duration 3 Years
Credential Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Program Delivery Full-time
Full-time program delivery method(s) In person What does this mean?

Program information

Program description

Students prepare for the role of oral health professional specializing in health promotion, disease prevention, and therapeutic care. Course content includes dental hygiene theory and practice, oral health and biomedical sciences, and the practical skills required for clinical practice. In addition, students learn the principles of professional responsibility and communication, health promotion, advocacy and evidence-based health care. Students apply theory to practice starting in a preclinical setting, gradually building the competence to apply skills in a client-care environment. Under supervision, students are supported while providing ethical dental hygiene care onsite in the oral health clinic and in the community. Students are prepared to work with clients and communities of diverse backgrounds and ages with varying degrees of oral health in a variety of settings.

This program is highly competitive. Learn about admission requirements for highly competitive programs.

Intake information

Start dateCampus
Fall 2023 Barrie

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a clinical placement component where you will gain practical work experience under the supervision of a registered or licensed professional.

What are the admission requirements for the Dental Hygiene program?

Dental Hygiene admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Math (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Chemistry (C) or Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry (U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:


Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Selection Process

Applicants will be assessed and ranked based on academic grades. A minimum grade of 75% in each pre-requisite subject is recommended.

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Additional information

It is required that students have Level HCP CPR and Standard First Aid prior to commencing the program (On-line courses are not acceptable). It is the student’s responsibility to renew their Level HCP CPR certification annually while in the program. Applicants must have up-to-date immunization records (Clinical Preparedness Permit) in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act. Completion and submission of this record is required during the first week of classes in order to ensure your placement in clinical and field placement facilities.

Applicants are advised that the clinical requirements of the program and future employment requires good vision (with or without corrective lenses) and visual perception, the ability to sit for prolonged periods of time, and the manipulation of instruments using repetitive motion, fine motor skills, and good manual dexterity.

Applicants with back/neck/wrist or visual problems should discuss individual concerns with the Program Coordinator.

Applicants must also be comfortable speaking in front of individuals and groups.

Registration with the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) is mandatory to practice as a dental hygienist in Ontario. Note: A history of criminal offences or charges of professional misconduct in another jurisdiction or another profession may interfere with your ability to become registered in Ontario. Should either situation apply, you are recommended to seek clarification with the CDHO before applying to the dental hygiene program at Georgian College.

What career paths can I take in dental hygiene?

Your Dental Hygiene diploma gives you many career opportunities

Graduates of this program are prepared with the knowledge and clinical experience required to become a regulated health professional in Ontario. Employment opportunities are found in a traditional dental office as a member of the oral health care team, or as an independent practitioner and proprietor of one’s own practice. Employment opportunities for the dental hygienist are also found in research, community and public health, administration and industry settings.

What courses are included in the Dental Hygiene diploma program?

Course overview

30 Program Courses
4 Clinical Placements
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Dental Hygiene program outline.

  • BIOL 1001 – Anatomy and Physiology – Introductory Concepts
  • DENT 1013 – General and Oral Microbiology
  • DENT 1014 – Dental and Orofacial Anatomy
  • DENT 1047 – Introduction to the Dental Hygiene Profession
  • DENT 1053 – Pre-Clinical Dental Hygiene 1
  • DENT 1054 – Oral Histology and Embryology
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.

Your course delivery method(s)

In person

This program is delivered fully in person and requires you to attend campus.

Please note, delivery methods are based on planning for the upcoming semester and are subject to change.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist?Georgian College Chevron

Both a dental assistant and a dental hygienist are important members of the oral health-care team.

Dental assistant

A dental assistant works alongside a dentist, assisting them with a variety of dental procedures. A dental assistant can also be assigned a number of other duties by a dentist.

Dental Assisting (DNAS) is a one-year certificate program offered at Georgian’s Barrie Campus.

Dental hygienist

A dental hygienist is a regulated health professional under the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991). This means that practice is guided by legislation. A dental hygienist plays an important role within the dental office, but works independently. They can perform a full oral assessment of the teeth and gums, determine a dental hygiene diagnosis, and develop a plan to assist clients with achieving and maintaining oral health. The plan includes providing treatment such as scaling (cleaning teeth), stain removal, oral health education, prescribing medicaments to support oral health, taking radiographs, and placing pit and fissure sealants.

Typically, a dental hygienist begins their career within a private dental office, but there are a number of other career opportunities after gaining some experience (e.g. independent practice owner, public health, or dental supply industry).

Dental Hygiene (DNTH) is a three-year advanced diploma program offered at Georgian’s Barrie Campus.

Do I need to complete Dental Assisting or have dental experience in order to enrol in the Dental Hygiene program?Georgian College Chevron

No. The Dental Hygiene curriculum is designed to build on concepts, with the first semester providing a foundation in all areas.

Review program admission requirements.

Is the Dental Hygiene program demanding?Georgian College Chevron

Yes! Each semester (six total), you’ll have between 21 to 23 hours of class per week, starting as early as 8 a.m. and extending into the evening.

You should plan to spend at least the same amount of time each week outside of class reading, reviewing, studying, and preparing for class.

How can I be successful in the Dental Hygiene program?Georgian College Chevron

To succeed in the Dental Hygiene program at Georgian, you should:

  • have good time management skills
  • be self-directed
  • be willing to dedicate a significant amount of time to your studies
  • be a good communicator
Does the program include an offsite placement? Can I complete my clinical hours in a dental office?Georgian College Chevron

Students in the Dental Hygiene program complete all their clinical hours in the Georgian College Oral Health Clinic, located at the Barrie Campus.

Additionally, students will complete a number of activities in the community (e.g. a placement in a long-term care facility over a couple of weeks, which the program plans and schedules) as well as other health promotion activities. Students are responsible for their own travel in this case.

Will I require a clinical permit to complete the Dental Hygiene program?Georgian College Chevron

Yes, a clinical permit is required. This is a set of requirements that is based on public health guidelines and is mandatory for all Health, Wellness and Science programs.

Review forms and placement requirements. Be sure to read the instructions carefully, as the deadlines are strictly enforced. It is your responsibility as a student to ensure that you meet these requirements and those of any facility where a placement is planned.

Will I require any additional equipment for the program?Georgian College Chevron

Dental Hygiene students are required to purchase an instrument kit from Georgian Stores. These instruments have been chosen specifically to match what is taught in the courses. We do not recommend purchasing used instruments.

Once you register for courses, you will receive the information for ordering your instruments and textbooks.

Do you have questions about Dental Hygiene? Contact us!

Thinking about applying to Georgian?

Contact our student recruitment team to explore your study options.

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Connect with the Office of the Registrar for admissions-related questions.

Are you an international student?

Contact our international recruitment team to learn more about studying at Georgian. 

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