Dental Hygiene FAQ

Dental Hygiene


What does a dental hygienist do?
A dental hygienist is a licensed oral health professional who provides preventive, therapeutic, restorative and educational interventions to control oral disease and promote optimal oral health.

Will I be eligible to practice as a dental hygienist if I graduate from this program?
The LCC Dental Hygiene Program is fully accredited.  Graduation from this program makes you eligible for state licensure throughout the United States, which is required in order to practice dental hygiene. 

Do I need a license or certificate to work as a dental hygienist in Oregon? If so, how will I go about getting it?
Dental Hygiene graduates are required to complete state/regional practical examinations and the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination in order to become licensed dental hygienists.  Students begin taking licensure examinations during winter and spring terms of the second year of the program. After graduation students take the Clinical examination in June.  The Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) licensure examinations are held at the Lane Community College site.  The approximate cost of licensure exams for Oregon total $2,500 for 2013.

What organizations or agencies have, or need to, approve or accredit the program so that the graduates can be certified or licensed?
The LCC Dental Hygiene program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements"]. 

How do I get into the program?
Students are required to submit a completed application by the deadline. Each applicant will receive points for academic coursework completed and performance on the HOBET test. Applicants may obtain additional application points for dental office work experience of 960 hours or optional Spanish language courses. Points are used to determine the strength of the application for the dental hygiene program. The current point system is included in the application packet.

Is there a residency requirement for getting accepted into the program?
All applicants to the Oregon site must be Oregon Residents.  You will also need to identify your county of residence within Oregon. 
Idaho applicants should review the LCSC Dental Hygiene website for eligible student status. 

How and when can I apply?
The application for 2013 is found on the Dental Hygiene Program website. Application deadlines are also provided.  Interested applicants should begin reviewing the online application in Fall and early Winter terms to become acquainted with application requirements. Careful planning will benefit the applicant, assuring that he/she has completed required coursework and application requirements. 

What are the prerequisites (courses/activities) that must be completed before I can be accepted into the program?
The following courses or their equivalent are required in order to apply to the program:

Class Name and Number # credits
Total Credits 36 credits
BI 112 Cell Biology for Health Occupations 3 credits
CH 112 Chemistry for Health Occupations 3 credits
WR 121 English Composition: Exposition and Introduction to Argument 4 credits
BI 231 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 4 credits
BI 232 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 4 credits
FN 225 Nutrition  4 credits
Choice of:
SOC 204 Introduction to Sociology, SOC 205 Social Stratification and Systems or
SOC 206 Institutions and Social Change
3 credits
MTH 052 Math for Introductory Physical Sciences or higher mathematics 4 credits

Choice of:
SP 100 Basic Communication or SP 111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking

4 credits
Choice of:
PSY 201, 202, 203 General Psychology
3 credits

Students using semester courses for the Anatomy and Physiology series will need to complete the entire 1 year series (2 semester series) to apply to the program. 

I won't have all my prerequisites completed by the application deadline. Can I still get into the program?
The Dental Hygiene Program has required prerequisites that need to be completed by the end of winter term of the year of application. Competitive applicants have all general education and science courses completed prior to application.

If I have taken extra classes, will that improve my chances of being selected for the program?
Extra points are awarded for courses in Spanish.

I've taken classes outside of Lane that seem similar to the prerequisites. Will the program accept my previous coursework?
Students should use the Lane transfer tool to determine if previous coursework will be accepted as the equivalent of the course offered at LCC. The transfer tool is also referenced on the program application. Transfer Tool

How many students does the program accept each year?
The LCC Dental hygiene program takes 20 per year at the LCC site and six students per year at the LCSC site. The lecture portion of the curriculum is presented online using the Moodle presentation system. Clinical education is provided using 2 clinical facilities  Applicants for Oregon educational site in Eugene use the Oregon application. The LCSC site uses the application packet found on the LCSC Dental Hygiene web site.

LCC main campus has capacity for 20 first year and 20 second year students.

Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston Idaho provides clinical education in the Whittman Building on the LCSC main campus. Six students are taken annually for this site. The clinical facility has capacity for six first-year and six second-year students. Applicants to this site use the Idaho/LCSC application. 

If more people apply than you will accept, how do you choose who gets in?
Acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program is based upon a points system (see the application packet). Every year the total points achieved by applicants varies. Usually successful applicants have earned more than 40 points.   Approximately 75 applicants apply annually for the two sites.

How much does the program cost?
Estimated program costs are $14,500 per year for the Lane site. The Idaho site is a full cost model of approximately $26,000 per year.

Will employment in a dental office help me be accepted to the program?
Applicants who complete 960 hours of work in a dental office (documented by the employer) are eligible to earn additional application points. The required documentation form is found in the application packet.