As a dental hygienist, you will provide a variety of services to patients to help them maintain proper dental care and ensure healthy habits while practicing proper dental hygiene. Becoming a dental hygienist requires completion of an accredited program as well as satisfactory passage of a state certification exam. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygiene is one of the fastest growing occupations.

University of Southern California

Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California ranks No. 25 on the "US News & World Report" list of top universities. The university's Ostrow School of Dentistry is one of only 48 in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. Nearly 70 percent of the school's dental hygiene graduates go on to work at private dentist offices, while 20 percent work in public health or school programs. With an emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion, the program provides a range of hands-on experiences to prepare students for a career in dental hygiene.

University of Michigan

Named a top dental hygiene school by Education Portal, the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor offers many options for prospective students. Offering a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene and a Master of Science program, the school also offers an online program for students who have already earned an associate degree in dental hygiene. Michigan's study plan provides students with a broad-based education and individualized programs that allow them to explore their career options.

Ohio State University

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry's Division of Dental Hygiene offers the only program in the state that is affiliated with a dental school. The four-year entry-level program features basic science and general education courses followed by professional training designed to prepare students for a career in dental hygiene. Ohio State also offers a degree-completion program as well as the only master's degree in dental hygiene in Ohio.

University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota is one of only a few schools in the Midwest offering a dental hygiene degree affiliation with a school of dentistry. The university features a Building Bridges to a Career in Dentistry program, which gives disadvantaged and underrepresented students an opportunity to obtain a degree from the school of dentistry. A regional resource for continuing education for the state of Minnesota and five surrounding states, the accelerated program allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in three years unlike most traditional four-year programs.