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Dental Hygiene

The significance of a smile.

Oral health is linked to overall health. And you’re the one working with patients one-on-one to promote it. As an important oral health educator and a key member of the oral healthcare team, you educate patients on their oral health, take x-rays, assess and develop evidence-based care plans, and perform non-surgical periodontal therapy. All while keeping patients comfortable.

Become a highly skilled dental hygienist.

Working with the latest technology in our renowned clinic, you’ll learn to use dental instruments and detailed knowledge to routinely assess patients for their risk of disease. You’ll graduate as a health professional dedicated to meeting the oral health needs of a diverse public, making ethical decisions, and providing high-quality patient-centered care.

Questions about our dental hygiene programs? Connect with our Admission Office. Boston: 617.879.5964, Worcester: 508.373.5607, Online: 508.373.5657

Distinguished Longevity

The Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene is the longest continually running dental hygiene program in the country.

Modern Facilities

Recognized as the most comprehensive clinic of its kind in New England, our Esther M. Wilkins Forsyth Dental Hygiene Clinic is equipped with advanced technology for real-world experience.

Legendary Namesake

Esther M. Wilkins is a Forsyth alum and author of the top resource text for dental hygiene students, Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist. She is still considered to be a preeminent voice in dental hygiene education today.

Clinical Affiliations

Partnerships with premier medical institutions and community health centers enable students to gain exposure and enhance on-campus learning.

Hands-on Experience

Students learn to provide all aspects of the dental hygiene process of care during clinical courses and extramural clinical rotations.

Accelerated Programs

Students can earn a bachelor’s degree, increasingly the preferred degree in the field, in about the same time or faster than a typical associate’s degree program.

First-Year Dental Hygiene Scholarships

MCPHS awards Forsyth Scholarships to qualified high school graduates who apply to the Dental Hygiene program.

One-of-a-Kind Bridge Program

The Associate Degree to Master of Science Degree (AD to MS) is the only online bridge program in the U.S. that prepares dental hygienists for a master’s degree without first earning a bachelor’s degree.

A field of growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow at a much faster rate than many other occupations, with a potential 11% increase in jobs needed by 2028. This growth is partly driven by ongoing research linking oral health to general health, spurring demand for preventive dental services. Since aging baby-boomers, representing a large population, are retaining more of their original teeth than previous generations, the need to maintain and treat these teeth will continue to drive demand for dental care. Cosmetic dental services, such as teeth-whitening treatments, are also becoming increasingly popular.


With innovative training and immersive clinical opportunities, our graduates are extremely well prepared to enter and advance in the field of dental hygiene. Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, but MCPHS offers the less common and more advantageous bachelor level and higher degrees. A bachelor’s or master’s degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental hygienists was $74,820 in May 2018, with the highest 10% earned more than $101,820. Associate’s degrees are the most common among practicing dental hygienists, while our bachelor’s, master’s and bridge program offers the potential for even higher earnings.

Job satisfaction

Dental Hygienists rank #2 in the U.S. News’ list of the 100 Best Health Care Support Jobs of 2019. Jobs are ranked according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors, including salary, the number of expected openings, advancement opportunities and career fulfillment. Dental Hygienists also enjoy high flexibility rankings for alternative working schedules and work life balance.

The Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene commits to excellence through engagement of students in a diverse learning environment, fostering community partnerships, and advancement of knowledge through scholarship and lifelong learning.

Program Goals/Competencies

Goal 1. Educate health professionals dedicated to meeting the oral health needs of a diverse public, functioning with autonomy as prevention specialists, providing quality patient-centered care and exhibiting high levels of ethical decision making. Upon graduation, the student will be able to:

  • Collect and analyze patient data to plan, implement and evaluate quality comprehensive patient care that promotes health-related quality of life and meets the needs of a diverse population.

Goal 2. Engage with the community for oral health awareness, advocacy and policy development.

  • Promote the value of oral health through service-based activities, community affiliations and involvement in local organizations.
  • Provide services that improve access to oral health care for underserved populations.

Goal 3. Conduct evidence-based scholarship to determine and/or establish best practices for the profession.

  • Use evidence-based decision making to evaluate preventive strategies and interventions.

Goal 4. Contribute to the knowledge base and growth of the profession.

  • Apply self-assessment to monitor knowledge and performance to achieve continuous professional growth and development.
  • Use critical thinking to adapt to changes in healthcare technology and practice.

Goal 5. Create innovative pathways to educate dental hygiene professionals.

The Forsyth Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, American Dental Association, and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The fax number is 312.440.2915 and the website is


Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene

MCPHS Dental Hygiene Program

Our clinic gives students immersive instruction to deliver high-quality oral healthcare services to the public.

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Partnering with Harvard University School of Medicine

Dental Hygienist examining child.

MCPHS has partnered with other leading institutions to support the Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health (CIPCOH).

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