Dental hygiene education in Germany: Between economics and emotions
To date, there is still no IFDH approved dental hygienist (DH) education model in Germany. Nevertheless, opportunities to complete vocational DH education courses have substantially increased within the last two decades. However, the content and quality of these courses vary greatly and are difficult to survey. The purpose of this article therefore was to present an overview of the education programmes offered in Germany as of March 2017.Methods
A formal request was sent to all education establishments for details of such courses, and a systematic internet search was performed covering the DH education topic in Germany.Results
Ten vocational education programmes were found, most of them organized by local dental chambers. One private provider offers a Bachelor Degree in Dental Hygiene on completion of a course which runs over 2 or 3 ys. Details of contents, objectives and concise ratings or comparisons of the various courses are scarce, although in principle all should meet the same quality standards.Conclusion
For dental hygiene students, patients and dentists, it is hard and unsatisfactory to get a clear overview of the types and the quality of DH education which can be achieved in Germany. A solution for this dilemma would appear to be essential. However, due to the peculiarities of German legislation as well as the complex sphere of vested interests, it is impossible to predict if or when the situation will change for the better.