Program of Study
The Dental Hygiene Program is a two-year course of study that includes lecture, lab and clinical courses. All courses must be taken in sequence. Lecture courses include Infection Control and Safety, Dental Anatomy and Histology, Oral Biology, Oral Roentgenology, Oral Pathology, Pharmacology, Local Anesthesia, Periodontology, Community Dental Health, Restorative Function, and Trends and Issues. All six terms also include lectures in dental hygiene theory and practice. The first year of the program includes 6-14 hours per week of lab, pre-clinical and clinical instruction. The second year of the program includes 17-22 hours per week of clinical instruction.
In order to apply for entry all applicants must complete certain prerequisites with a grade of C or better. See the course catalog for specific requirements
Dental Hygienists enjoy their choice of a wide variety of practice settings such as dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, correctional facilities, assisted living facilities, cruise ships, VA clinics, military bases, Indian Health Services clinics. Some serve as members of the armed forces. In some cases dental hygienists may also accept well paid international work assignments. Additionally, Dental Hygienists who attain advanced degrees may choose to become educators, researchers, administrators, and preventive program developers, among other career paths.
Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available. Dentists frequently hire hygienists to work only 2 or 3 days a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office.