Advanced Facilities for Dental Hygiene

Individual opportunities to advance your skills

WCU provides exceptional opportunities for individual learning—from our skills lab to a dedicated community Dental Hygiene Clinic, with over 15,000 patient visits a year. 

At WCU, we believe each student needs and deserves exclusive time in the simulation and dental materials lab, as well as in the dental hygiene clinic. Our simulation lab enables students to practice pre-clinical techniques and procedures, which mimic real patient conditions. Once they have progressed, students will provide dental hygiene services to actual patients at the on-site, free Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Our Simulation and Dental Materials Lab and the Dental Hygiene Clinic are well-equipped so that WCU students do not have to share, but rather have the simulation unit, dental chair and radiology equipment for the entire dedicated teaching time.

WCU's Dental Hygiene program is dedicated to having modern dental technology needed for student learning. Students learn various skills and procedures by using a wide range of modern equipment needed for dental hygiene care — available in one place. Additionally, students participate in community outreach. Students are also involved in activities for professional growth through professional membership and portfolio development.

Simulation and Materials Lab

Units are Custom-Made

The Simulation Lab includes training workstations that are custom-made for Dental Hygiene students.

Because Dental Hygiene students use the simulation and materials lab on an ongoing basis throughout their studies, these simulation units allow students the opportunity to develop early skills and build on their learning and experience term after term.

Monitors are provided at each station so that students can clearly observe the instruction and technique that a professor is teaching. Each student has his or her personal supply kit with model teeth that fit into the simulation workstation.

The dental materials element of the lab provides students the hands-on experience required for procedures such as taking impressions and preparing whitening trays.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

Cultivating Comprehensive Skills

Adults, infants, children, adolescents, special needs and geriatric patients are all welcome at West Coast University's free Dental Hygiene Clinic, which serves the community and WCU's students alike.  Our clinic sees over 15,000 patient visits a year.

The clinic's 30 dental chairs and 10 X-ray units provide patients with superior care and give students the opportunity to experience, first-hand, the full range of dental hygiene services and related patient care.

When a patient calls WCU's free Dental Hygiene Clinic to make an appointment, a student is assigned to respond. From the very first interaction, the student is engaging with the patient — calling, making the initial appointment and confirming the appointment as the date nears. When the patient arrives, the student greets the patient, makes him or her comfortable, and begins the process of patient analysis and the development of a dental hygiene care plan. In consultation with WCU's dental hygiene faculty and under the supervision of a dentist, students have the opportunity to learn and practice the following key procedures:

  • Conduct Medical and Dental History Evaluation
  • Perform Oral Inspection to Determine Necessary Referrals
  • Complete a Risk Assessment
  • Develop a Dental Hygiene Care Plan
  • Implement the Dental Hygiene Care Plan
  • Evaluate the Outcomes of the Dental Hygiene Care Plan
  • Determine the Recare Protocol

The combination of collaborative learning, educational resources, the simulation lab, research and real-world clinical experience allows faculty to guide students as they develop the knowledge, skills and values of a competent, confident dental hygienist.

Free Dental Hygiene Clinic

WCU students and instructors provide excellent dental hygiene care to the community, offering the following services free of charge:

  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Tobacco Cessation Counseling
  • Digital and Traditional Imaging (x-rays)
  • Application of Pit & Fissure Sealants
  • Fluoride Treatment/Therapy
  • Tooth Desensitization Procedures
  • Study Model for Interpretation and Tray Fabrication
  • Prosthesis Care for Partial and Full Dentures