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​​​​A​ssociate of Applied Sciences Degree in Dental Hygiene

The Dental Hygiene Associate of Applied Science degree program prepares students for licensure through two academic years of coursework after successful completion of all prerequisite courses. Students must successfully complete all 68 hours of coursework.

Upon completion of coursework, students will take two national board examinations to be eligible for licensure in their respective state.

  • National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) is a didactic examination administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.
  • Regional clinical board that is administered on-site at the Dallas College dental hygiene clinic through ADEX-CDCA-WREB-CITA.

Application Process

There is no application fee.

Candidates fill out an admissions application. The deadline for submission is late February. The application packet provides:

  • Selection process.
  • Prerequisite requirements.
  • Transcript information.
  • Pre-entrance examination requirements.
  • Immunization, BLS with AED, physical examination, health insurance, background check and drug screening requirements.

The quality of a candidate’s application, their previous academic performance and entrance examination results are prime considerations for admission.

A point system, found in the application packet, is used for admissions that weighs the following:

  • Previous college course work and degrees.
  • College cumulative, science and prerequisite GPA.
  • High school GPA.
  • Entrance examination score.
  • Short answer essay questions.
  • Observation hours with a licensed dental hygienist in any state.

Prerequisite Courses

Dental hygiene candidates must complete all prerequisite science and non-science courses with a minimum grade of ‘C’ in each course by the application deadline.

All prerequisite science courses must have been completed within five years prior to the students anticipated program start date.

See Program Prerequisites

Essential Functions

Candidates for the Dental Hygiene Program must be able to perform the essential functions required by industry standards of care.

  • Cognitive functions: A dental hygienist has the ability to solve problems, retain knowledge, read complex material, analyze learning materials, synthesize new information and apply learned knowledge using reasoning and critical thinking.
  • Sensory and motor skills: A dental hygienist operates in a clinical environment that requires sitting, standing and working with repetitive movements. Physical stamina, strong dexterity abilities and sufficient vision, smell and hearing are demanded of the role. Industry standards require a dental hygienist to render general routine and emergency care to patients. Students must possess fine and gross motor skills to work in the small environment of the mouth, manipulate dental tools and equipment, and perform patient assessment maneuvers such as percussion, palpitation and auscultation appropriately in patient care. Students must be able to perform all classroom, laboratory and clinical demands and tolerate physically taxing workloads.
  • Communication skills: A dental hygienist educates patients on good oral health practices. Dental hygiene education requires students to communicate with Dallas College employees, patients and their peers professionally, respectfully and maturely. Students need the ability to exercise good judgment, demonstrate emotional health and intelligence, and communicate with cultural sensitivity and social awareness.
  • Behavioral skills: A dental hygienist responds appropriately to stressful and unpredictable circumstances surrounding patient care. They are skilled at working with patients who are afraid of coming to the dental office. A dental hygienist operates with high ethical standards, professional behavior, and adheres to all rules and regulations for health care providers.

Bloodborne Pathogens and Communicable Diseases

  • Dallas College Dental Hygiene Program adheres to established infection prevention standards related to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens and communicable diseases. Full policy available upon request.

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