Dental Hygienist - Associate Degree
As a graduate of the Dental Hygienist program, you can choose to practice as a registered dental hygienist in any of the following settings: private practice, long-term care facility, public school system, or public health department – on a full-time or part-time basis. Dental hygienists perform dental cleanings, apply preventative agents, expose radiographs, perform local anesthesia and teach patients oral care. The Dental Hygienist program is accredited by the American Dental Association-Commission on Dental Accreditation.
How do I get started in this program?
Requirements for Program Entry
- For instructions on how to get started, download the application checklist for this program.
A waitlist often forms for this program. Learn more about program waitlists.
What are my courses?
Students following the study plan below will complete the Dental Hygiene associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
Summer Before First Semester
Summer Before Third Semester
- Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "C" or higher in all 10-508-XXX courses. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "C" in a program course may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team.
- Students must earn a "B" or higher in General Anatomy & Physiology, Intro to Biochemistry, and Microbiology. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "B" in these courses may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team.
- The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better.
- Although not required, it is recommended all dental hygiene students take Dental Hygiene Summer Clinic, 10508185 between their first and second year in the program.
- Model dental hygiene professional code of ethics.
- Counsel clients/patients to reduce health risks.
- Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings.
- Manage infection and hazard control.
- Assess data on all aspects of patient/client health using methods consistent with dental hygienist scope of practice and legal principles.
- Formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan in collaboration with the client and other health professionals.
- Provide preventive and therapeutic services that promote oral health according to the needs of the patient/client.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented client/patient dental hygiene care plan.
What careers are in my future?
A registered Dental Hygienist may practice dental hygiene in a health department, private practice, long term care facility, or school. Graduates may find employment on a part-time or full-time basis.
Employment opportunities with additional education
- Dental Hygiene Instructor
- Public Health Dental Hygienist
- Dental Laboratory Technician
- Dental Sales
- Dental Insurance Review Analyst
What's next after graduation?
Start here. Finish at a four-year.
NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer.
What else do I need to know about the program?
The Dental Hygienist program is accredited by the American Dental Association - Commission on Dental Accreditation 211 East Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL 60611-2678 (312) 440-2500
Prior to licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist, a student is required to pass the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and a Regional Practical Exam.
- Students will be required to purchase a uniform, instruments, and cover any other expenses (including travel) related to clinical experiences.
- Students will be required to submit immunization documentation. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
Wisconsin Caregiver Law
NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through www.castlebranch.com AND complete a Background Information Disclosure (BID) form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry. The information provided in the BID form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the clinical or practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee clinical/practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor or visit nwtc.edu/studyabroad.
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Classes wherever you have an internet connection.
- An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
- Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
- Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
- A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
- 12 or more credits per term.
- Fewer than 12 credits per term.