About the School of Dental Hygiene


The School of Dental Hygiene is part of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Located at the U of M Bannatyne Campus in the Dentistry building, the School of Dental Hygiene neighbours include the Faculty of Dentistry, the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Medical Rehabilitation, as well as the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre.


School of Dental Hygiene Mission Statement

In a dynamic environment of excellence and progressive learning, the University of Manitoba, School of Dental Hygiene prepares future dental hygienists to enhance the health and well being of the public through oral health promotion, disease prevention and therapeutic means; and are active members of the global health care community.

School of Dental Hygiene Vision

The School of Dental Hygiene will serve to inspire and mentor students, faculty and the profession through dynamic role-modeling for continuous professional growth in a healthy and nurturing environment. We will be leaders and change agents in dental hygiene education and the profession. We envision dental hygienists as primary health care providers recognized as oral health experts in the discipline of dental hygiene operating within the larger health community. We will provide collaborative delivery models that will actively promote accessible evidence-based oral health care with the intent to improve the overall health of-the public.

School of Dental Hygiene Goals

The Educational Environment within the Program will:

  • Provide a progressive program built on a strong theoretical base in: the humanities, psychological sciences, basic sciences, and dental hygiene sciences.
  • Reflect sound principles of higher education and the needs of adult learners through the provision of an authentic learning environment.
  • Utilize state of the art educational.
  • Strategies that foster student learning.
The Program will develop Future Dental Hygienists who: 
  • Provide client-centred comprehensive dental hygiene care in the form of health promotion, disease prevention and therapeutic interventions applying the principles of ethical behavior and professionalism.
  • Develop life-long skills in critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • Are committed to be an advocate and change agent to promote oral health and well being for the public.
  • Are able and willing to provide care in a culturally sensitive and competent manner to those with special oral health needs or in diverse or vulnerable populations.
  • Collaborate with other health professionals in a variety of health care settings.
  • Support the advancement of the profession.
  • Pursue lifelong learning through professional development and advanced degrees. 

The Service Obligations of the Program will: 

  • Encourage accessibility to oral disease prevention and oral health promotion for all people.
  • Establish community partnerships with underserved populations to facilitate oral disease prevention and oral health promotion.
  • Educate the corporate citizen to the role of the dental hygienist in health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Promote partnerships within the health care community.
  • Encourage inter- and intra-Faculty and University collaborations.
  The Scholarly Obligations of the Program will: 
  • Encourage faculty to develop and pursue cutting edge educational methodology.
  • Contribute to the discipline of dental hygiene by enhancing the body of knowledge required for evidence-based practice.
  • Promote the mentorship of students in dental hygiene research and scholarship.
  • Pursue educational opportunities that advance the profession of dental hygiene.

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School of Dental Hygiene Global Competencies 
The Competencies are organized into “Core Abilities” and “Dental Hygiene Services”.

History of the School of Dental Hygiene

In May, 1961, the Senate of the University of Manitoba adopted the following recommendation:

"That the establishment of a School of Dental Hygiene within the Faculty of Dentistry be approved in principle, but that its establishment should not prejudice the normal development and maintenance of existing faculties and schools in the University".

This recommendation was based on the favorable reception of the Paynter Report in 1956 which made recommendations to the provincial government for the establishment of a faculty of dentistry and school of dental hygiene.

President Hugh Hamilton SaundersonIn 1962 President Saunderson made a formal request to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan, for financial support to enable the University to establish a School of Dental Hygiene. This request was approved, and in July of 1962 the Kellogg Foundation made a grant to the University of $50,000, payable over a four year period.

In November, 1962, Mrs. M.G.E. Forgay was appointed Acting Consultant in Dental Hygiene to develop the curriculum. The University Senate approved the proposed first year course of studies in February, 1963 and in September, 1963 the first class of 12 dental hygiene students was accepted. Mrs. M.G.E. Forgay, B.A., (Sask.), R.D.H. was appointed Acting Director of the School of Dental Hygiene, and Miss Dixie Scoles, B.Ed. (Ohio), R.D.H. was appointed as the first full-time academic in the School. The first class graduated in May of 1965.

The School has been awarded full accreditation status every instance the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada has surveyed the site. Survey site visits were made in 1965, 1971, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1993, 2000, and 2015.

The School of Dental Hygiene has always assumed a prominent role in dental hygiene education in North America. It was one of the first programs to adopt a competency based education system for dental hygiene clinical education, and faculty members from this School have served as consultants in many programs throughout the United States and Canada.

In addition, in cooperation with the federal government Working Group on the Practice of Dental Hygiene, the School held the first conference world-wide on dental hygiene research in 1982. It also co-hosted the first national professional conference in dental hygiene in 1990. Its founding Director, Professor Emerita Margery G. E. Forgay holds the first honorary Doctorate degree (Dalhousie University, 1994) ever to be received by a Canadian dental hygienist.

In the years since its inception in 1963 class sizes in dental hygiene have increased from 12 to 26, and a total of more than 685 graduates of the program have received the Diploma in Dental Hygiene.

Dentistry Bldg

Did you know?

Dental hygiene graduates from Manitoba have always been very active in their professional associations.

In addition to activity in the Manitoba Dental Hygienists Association, they have provided 9 of the 30 presidents of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association between 1965 and 1987, a record unmatched by any other educational program.

The "target="_blank">Drive for Top Five" remains strong and alive as the 2010 - 11 Dental Hygiene students outperformed  the national average within every category in the recent national board scores.  Another fine example of the quality of faculty, students, staff and educational programs at the University of Manitoba.

 Clinic Waiting Room