Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases and provide other preventive dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. Dental Hygienists are vital members of the dental team. The rigorous two-year program leads to an Associate degree, graduates must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene exam and regional clinical licensing examinations before being eligible for state licensure. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
- Estimated Length of Program: 2 years
- Credential Awarded: Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene
The Dental Hygiene program educates men and women to become vital members of the dental health profession. The two-year basic core curriculum leading to an Associate in Science degree follows the guidelines adopted by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Dental Hygiene graduate must successfully pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and regional clinical licensing examinations before being eligible for state licensure. These examinations are administered in the final semester of the Dental Hygiene curriculum. Once these examinations are successfully completed, the graduate may apply for Dental Hygiene licensure in any of the fifty states. Graduates may transfer credits to a four-year institution to complete a Baccalaureate degree. The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.
The curriculum is designed to provide the student a broad educational experience. The student is thus prepared to render preventive oral health services and dental health education. Students receive clinical experience at the STCC Dental Hygiene clinic, community health clinics and schools. Students are responsible to complete clinical services on a minimum number of patients. Patient recruitment is the responsibility of the student. Assistance will be provided by the College. The purchase of a first year and second year instrument kit is mandatory for each dental hygiene student.
Successful completion of all courses listed in the program curriculum is required for graduation. The dental hygiene courses are offered once per year and are restricted to the semester in which they appear in the curriculum. The Dental Hygiene curriculum is completed within two academic years, once accepted into the program. Qualifying students may be exempt from certain Dental Hygiene courses upon successful completion of a challenge exam or transfer credit.
Blood-borne Pathogen Policy: Applicants are advised that there is an increased risk of dental healthcare providers and students contracting blood-borne infectious diseases. Dental Hygiene students provide services in the oral cavity where they come in contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Although diseases may be encountered, research indicates that risks are negligible when optimal infection control is practiced. It is required that all students complete the Hepatitis-B vaccine prior to treating patients.
Download a schedule of our upcoming Dental Hygiene Information Sessions here.
Upon completion of the requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene will be awarded.