Dental Hygiene, Associate of Applied Science
The Dental Hygiene Program is a mix of academic and clinical coursework that is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a competent entry-level registered dental hygienist. Students will apply the skills and principles they have gained from their general education, basic sciences, dental sciences and dental hygiene sciences studies in the assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation of dental hygiene care for the individual and the community. Each student will actively participate in clinical dental hygiene experiences in the college dental hygiene clinic.
The Dental Hygiene program is a two-year degree program and includes a summer session. The curriculum is designed to meet the accreditation standards of the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60611. Graduates may be eligible to take the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and Regional and/or State Board Licensing Examinations. Employment opportunities include working as a licensed registered dental hygienist in private dental offices, public clinics, industry, research, and community health programs.
Upon successful completion of this degree, students will be able to:
- recognize and manage ethical issues and problems in the practice, use critical thinking and sound judgment, and communicate with other individuals, groups, and professionals from diverse populations;
- provide accurate, consistent, and complete dental hygiene process of care for all clients that include assessments, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation;
- in consultation with dentist, analyze and interpret data to formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis;
- effectively use interpersonal and communication skills to interact with diverse population groups;
- provide dental hygiene care to promote client health and wellness utilizing critical thinking and problem solving in the provision of evidenced-based practice;
- recognize and practice the principles of infection control and environmental safety;
- systematically collect biological, psychological, and social information needed to evaluate the medical and oral conditions for clients of all ages;
- collaborate with the client and other health professionals to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is client-centered and based on current scientific evidence;
- provide specialized treatment that includes prevention and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain optimum oral health for the child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric client;
- provide dental hygiene care for all types of periodontal disease classifications;
- evaluate the effectiveness of the clinical and educational services provided and modify as deemed necessary;
- perform regular self-evaluations and take the necessary corrective actions to address any perceived deficiencies;
- assess, plan, and implement programs and activities to benefit the oral health of the general population;
- assume responsibility for actions taken and care provided based on accepted scientific theories, research, and standard of care; and
- critically assess the validity of new information, products, and/or techniques and their relevance to the practice of dental hygiene.