Comparison of clinical practice education in dental hygiene schools in eight countries

Int Dent J. 2012 Jun;62(3):122-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595X.2011.00102.x. Epub 2012 Mar 9.


Objectives: The profession of dental hygienist is one of the few in which the primary function of the practitioner is to prevent oral disease and to promote the well-being of patients. The aim of this study was to investigate clinical training conditions in schools of dental hygiene in eight countries (the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Thailand, South Korea and Japan).

Methods: In 2006, we sent out a questionnaire in which we asked dental hygiene schools about how they educate dental hygiene students.

Results: The techniques taught to students in schools in Western industrialised nations, such as the USA, Canada, Denmark, the UK and Sweden, were mainly related to dental preventive measures and dental health guidance. By contrast, training schools in South Korea and Japan placed less emphasis on dental preventive measures and dental health guidance. Dental hygienists in Thailand are trained to perform local anaesthesia and to fill and extract deciduous teeth although the country does not have a specific qualification system.

Conclusions: The contents of clinical training and education in schools of dental hygiene differ greatly among countries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Curriculum
  • Denmark
  • Dental Hygienists / education*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Oral Hygiene / education*
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States