Dental Hygienist Associate Degree

Program Code: 105081

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.

Employment Potential

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.

    With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find other opportunities for employment.

    • Dental Hygiene Instructor
    • Public Health Dental Hygienist
    • Dental Laboratory Technician
    • Dental Sales
    • Dental Insurance Review Analyst

    Requirements for Program Entry

    • For instructions on how to get started, download the application checklist for this program.

    Program Availability

    A waitlist often forms for this program. Learn more by contacting one of our Admissions Advisors.

    Application Checklist

    Curriculum: Students following the study plan below will complete the Dental Hygiene associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
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    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.

    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.

    Highly Recommended Course(s) for Academic Success

    DH-Dental Career Transition, 10-508-118 | Dental Hygiene Summer Clinic, 10-508-185 | It highly recommended you take 10-508-119 DH-Dental Hygiene Board Review as your elective in fourth semester.

    Program Outcomes

    • 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.

    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 >> EXCLUDEEND



    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

    Industry Credentials

    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.

    Clinical Experience

    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 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

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