Patients who are hospitalized face a high risk of poor oral health and experience a decline in oral hygiene over the course of hospitalization. Due to the documented links between diabetes and periodontal disease as well as the prevalence of diabetes in the hospitalized population, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were chosen as the population of interest for a pilot program of dental hygienist‐led care provision in the hospital. Inclusion criteria were established by agreement of a dentist and physician. Nursing and medical staff were provided with multiple opportunities to learn about the dental hygienist’s role throughout the pilot. The dental hygienist utilized a fully mobile dental unit and bedside suction unit and followed all standard infection control procedures. This intervention identified a number of suboptimal oral health practices among patients and was perceived positively by patients and providers. No adverse events occurred.