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Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene: Students working in a lab.

Associate Degree Program

A registered dental hygienist is an integral part of the dental team and is qualified to provide comprehensive therapeutic oral care and preventative education directly to diverse population groups in both clinical and community environments. Dental hygienists provide valuable oral health care services which may include oral assessments, oral cancer screenings, removing deposits from the teeth, exposing and processing dental radiographs, nutritional counseling, sealant placement, fluoride treatments and preventative education. There are many areas of specialization in the field, including research, sales, and clinical. The Dental Hygiene program will offer you many opportunities for educational advancement, as well as prepare you to be eligible for national, regional and state licensure examinations.

Academically ready students can apply to the program following the guidelines of the Allied Health competitive admission process. Interested applicants should review the information provided here and contact their program advisor for application requirements.

This program is offered at the Wilmington campus.

What You Can Do

In this program, you will gain the knowledge and skill to prepare you for careers in:

  • Private dental practices
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Public health clinics
  • Education
  • Research
  • Office management
  • Business administration
  • Dental companies 
What You Will Earn

Competitive starting salaries range from $30,000 - $40,000.

What You Will Learn:

Program Graduate Competencies

The Program Graduate Competencies listed below identify the major learning goals related to your specific program of study and identify the knowledge and skills you will have when you graduate to be successful in your chosen field.

  1. Collect and analyze baseline data in a critical and scientific manner regarding the patient's health status to determine dental hygiene treatment needs.
  2. Utilizing professional communication skills and behaviors, initiate and responsibly advocate health care promotion and disease prevention for diverse populations.
  3. Provide dental hygiene care in a safe manner.
  4. Utilizing self-assessment skills, evaluate clinical performance and the effectiveness of dental hygiene treatment.
  5. Accurately document information related to dental hygiene care through proper record keeping.
  6. Recognize and manage the professional and ethical issues of dental hygiene practice in a dynamic environment.

Core Curriculum Competencies

The Core Curriculum Competencies listed below identify what you, as an associate degree graduate, will be able to do upon completion of your degree, regardless of your major. You will acquire these core competencies through your general education courses (i.e. English, math, etc.) and your program of study courses.

  1. Communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.
  2. Demonstrate effective problem solving and reasoning skills.
  3. Work effectively in groups of people from diverse backgrounds.
  4. Demonstrate ethical and professional understanding and conduct.
  5. Apply appropriate information literacy skills to locate, evaluate and use information effectively.
  6. Use computer technology appropriate to the field.
  7. Use scientific and mathematical reasoning appropriate to the technology.

Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree?

This is a Connected Degree program. Graduates who meet the admission requirements may enter programs at affiliated four-year institutions.  See a program advisor for details!