The Dental Hygiene Program provides the students with academic and clinical opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to become a dental hygiene professional. A dental hygienist is a member of the dental team who provides direct care to patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist. The duties of a dental hygienist include patient assessments, taking radiographs, teeth cleaning and polishing, applying preventive agents, nonsurgical periodontal therapies (scaling & root planing), administering local anesthesia and nitrous oxide, taking impressions, pouring up study models and making bleaching trays.
The education program is a combination of classroom lectures, hands-on lab and clinical activities, along with numerous service learning opportunities. The program is demanding and quite rigorous in the scope and depth of study. Individuals who are strong in the biological sciences and human anatomy, have good dexterity, attention to detail and possess critical thinking skills are excellent candidates for a career in Dental Hygiene. Upon graduation, students must successfully complete the National Dental Hygiene Board Exam, the Central Regional Board Exam and then obtain a license in the state they wish to practice. Dental Hygiene is a very competitive program. Fulfilling the prerequisites is not a guarantee to admission into the program. Students are ranked according to GPA in the prerequisite courses in consideration for admission to the program.