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Three panel collage of dental hygiene students

School of Dental HygieneChair's Welcome

Welcome to the Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene (SODH)!


I hope that you find our webpage impressive and informative. All of us here at the SODH are very proud of our program. We strive to graduate competent, ethical dental hygienists ready to meet the oral health care needs of the future in both a compassionate and informed way. It is expected that our graduates be able to provide quality oral hygiene care to diverse populations using the latest technologies in a variety of inter-professional settings. We are committed to excellence in dental hygiene education, practice, management and research. The Dental Hygiene Care Facility and Clinic has provided oral preventive care services to over 1860 people totaling approximately $80,000 in services over the past year alone.

I am honored to work with 20 full time, part time and adjunct faculty, three staff and 4 supervising dentists everyday with the ultimate goal to establish an environment committed to student success. Faculty in the SODH are award winning, have presented at international, national, state and local meetings throughout the year and hold authorships within numerous publications in peer reviewed journals such as the: Journal of Forensic Sciences, Journal of Dental Hygiene, Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, Radiologic Science and Education, Journal of Services Marketing Quarterly, Journal of Multidisciplinary Care Decisions in Dentistry, Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education and the Journal of Nurse Education in Practice. In addition, faculty in the school write textbooks and textbook chapters, obtain grant funding for research projects, have filed provisional patents for an innovative x-ray device and have been involved with many community service projects.

Increasingly important is preparing graduates for a wide variety of practice settings and ready to advance professional education in dental hygiene. Our student's certification examination first time pass rates have been 97% since 2015. Graduate level dental hygiene course work continues to prepare future educators, researchers and leaders to think independently and develop their own vision, goals and philosophies to be ready for positions that advance the dental hygiene profession. Our students are the best representation of the education they receive; therefore, it is imperative the dental hygiene curriculum remains up to date, cutting edge and focused. The ODU SODH will continue to plan for the future to enhance academic excellence, maintain our National reputation and expand alumni and community connections with the ultimate goal to establish an environment committed to faculty, student and alumni success.

Thank you for your interest in the ODU SODH!

Ann M. Bruhn, BSDH, MS, RDH
Chair and Associate Professor

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