Dental Hygiene (DHY) Program Information
Associate of Applied Science
This program is no longer accepting new students.
Dental hygienists are licensed oral health professionals who focus on preventing and treating oral diseases of the teeth and gums, and protection of patients’ total health. As part of dental hygiene services, dental hygienists perform oral healthcare assessments that include the following: patients’ health histories, dental charting, oral cancer screening, and taking vital signs (blood pressure, smoking status, and pulse). Additionally, dental hygienists expose, process, and interpret dental radiographs; remove plaque and calculus from the teeth; apply cavity prevention agents; apply sealants; teach patients proper oral hygiene techniques; counsel patients on good nutrition; provide local anesthesia and nitrous oxide for pain and/ or anxiety control. Dental hygienists can work as clinicians, educators, researchers, administrators, managers, consumer advocates, sales managers and consultants. They may work in a variety of healthcare settings such as private dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, correctional institutions, or nursing homes. Successful completion of the program allows graduates to sit for the National Dental Hygiene written board examination, along with the required regional board examinations required for licensure to practice.