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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 oral prophylaxis, 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
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    Requirements for Program Entry

    • REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRAM APPLICATION
    • The DH program follows a competitive enrollment process whereby candidate applications are reviewed by a ranking process. The following steps must be completed for the application process.
    • High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to www.nwtc.edu/gettingstarted.)
    • Attendance at a mandatory informational session will be required. To sign-up for a mandatory session, please contact Admissions at (920) 498-5444.
    • To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 3.0 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more.
    • One semester of college Algebra OR two semesters of high school Algebra with a ‘C’ or better. One semester of college Biology OR two semesters of High School Biology with grade of “C” or better. One semester of college Chemistry OR two semesters of High School Chemistry with grade of “C” or better.
    • Take the Health Educations Systems Inc. (HESI) A2 Exam. The HESI can only be taken after students have met the required program benchmarks. Test topics include Math, Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, and Reading. A comprehensive score of 80 is required on the HESI exam in order to be admitted to the program.
    • Candidates submitting applications to the DH program must also provide an essay (no more than 1,000 words) completed on campus in the Assessment Center. The essay will follow a question and answer format and will include information related to the following; describe the most important influence in your decision to become a dental hygienist, the specific skills and duties of a dental hygienist and what you have done to prepare for the time commitment and academic rigor of the program.
    • Candidates are ranked in the following categories: HESI scores and program essay. The highest ranking candidates will be offered a place on the program wait list. Remaining candidates can reapply for a future ranking.
    • REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRAM ENTRY
    • Upon successful acceptance to the program wait list, the following must be completed:
    • Attend mandatory registration session and program orientation.
    • Complete a dental examination within three months before entering the program.
    • Complete an American Heart Association BLS Provider course prior to program entry. Students are required to maintain a current CPR card to comply with affiliating agency requirements.
    • Complete caregiver background check. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
    • Successful completion of General Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology with a "B" or higher prior to entering first semester courses.

    Program Availability

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

    Application Checklist

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    Curriculum
    Curriculum: Students following the study plan below will complete the Dental Hygiene associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
    Pre-First Semester
    Semester Total
    8
    Summer Before First Semester
    Semester Total
    6
    First Semester
    Semester Total
    14
    Second Semester
    Semester Total
    14
    Summer Before Third Semester
    Semester Total
    4
    Third Semester
    Semester Total
    12
    Fourth Semester
    Semester Total
    13
    Total Credits
    71

    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.
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    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

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    Accreditation

    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 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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