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Dental Hygiene
Center for Health Education
414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Dental Hygiene

There is a strong connection between oral health and overall health. Through direct patient care, prevention efforts and outreach, dental hygienists help individuals and communities experience healing and achieve wellness.

At USD, our faculty bring expertise in research and practice to the classroom, providing our students with an exceptional educational experience rooted in hands-on learning. Our students gain hands-on experience in a variety of settings – including dental clinics, schools, nursing homes, tribal hospitals and penitentiaries – and work alongside students from a variety of health sciences disciplines. These experiences prepare our students to be collaborators and leaders on their future patients' care teams. They graduate as confident and capable professionals ready to deliver high quality care to their patients and promote oral health in whatever setting they enter.

Join our community of dental hygienists, researchers and educators in the USD Department of Dental Hygiene.




Meet the Department

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Dental Hygiene. Our department offers a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, with a curriculum designed to emphasize outreach, collaborative learning and clinical experience.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Miranda Drake

Miranda Drake

Chair, Dental Hygiene/Assistant Professor of Practice
Bio Image for Faculty Member Julie Fallan

Julie Fallan

Asst Admissions/Advisor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ann Grunewaldt

Ann Grunewaldt

Clinical Instructor/Clinic Manager
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelsey Irish

Kelsey Irish

Clinical Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tara Koele

Tara Koele

Clinical Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Blake Kopf

Blake Kopf

Dentist/Supervising Dentist
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jessica Pierret

Jessica Pierret

Dental Assistant
Bio Image for Faculty Member Katie Ray

Katie Ray

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Carissa Regnerus

Carissa Regnerus

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Nicole Solomon

Nicole Solomon

Program Assistant I
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jessica Sona

Jessica Sona

Asst Prof of Practice/SF Clinic Director
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lasandra Wilson

Lasandra Wilson

Clinical Instructor

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Department Opportunities

Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to dental hygiene students.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the clinic facilities and program housed in the Department of Dental Hygiene. 
A dental hygiene student in a room with a faculty member.

Delta Dental Oral Health Center

The Delta Dental Oral Health Center is a new community dental hygiene clinic at USD, named in honor of a $1 million gift from the Delta Dental of South Dakota Foundation. Services are open to the public.

Dental Hygiene Student Cleaning a Patient's Teeth

Sioux Falls Dental Clinic

Our dental hygiene clinic in Sioux Falls is open to the public. Students learn under the close supervision of licensed dentists and licensed hygienists. Our services are offered at reduced rates; however, appointments generally take more time than traditional dental offices.

A dental hygiene student working on another.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Our department offers several in-person and at-home courses throughout the year for dental professionals.

View our current continuing education courses, which includes registration instructions and more information.

View Available Courses
A SHS Student working in the classroom.

Building Highlights

  • Supports the academic, research and service missions of eight of USD’s fastest growing majors in health professional disciplines 
  • Contemporary facility that strengthens the opportunities for interprofessional, collaborative, hands-on experiences in simulation, classroom and lab settings 
  • Complements the existing Lee Medical building by use of similar building materials 
  • Technology-enhanced active learning classrooms, shared faculty and staff workplace, health science labs, simulation rooms, student collaboration and study spaces and an active community dental hygiene clinic

Watch the Ribbon Cutting
Faculty Member Mentoring a Dental Hygiene Student

Mentorship and Advising

In the Department of Dental Hygiene, our faculty, staff and students work closely together to help students identify their career paths and achieve their goals. Our class sizes are small, allowing students and faculty members the opportunity to pursue mentorship connections and work together on research projects.

A person working with a USD student physical therapist.

The Region's Leader in Health Care Education

USD is home to the only comprehensive health sciences school and medical school in the state. This advantage offers our students the unique opportunity to learn and train alongside peers in a variety of disciplines, equipping them with the collaborative experiences they need to be effective members of their future patients' care teams.


We are also proud to have strong relationships with the region's leading health care providers. These partnerships offer our students invaluable opportunities for developing professional connections, getting hands-on experiences and serving their communities early in their education.

student success story

Success story Hannah Poppens smiling.
I became aware of the value of community involvement through my service as a student in community clinics. I also benefitted through my work in those clinics because I learned to serve a variety of patients, and that helps me now as a practicing professional.

Hannah Poppens

B.S. Dental Hygiene '19
Dental Hygienist

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