The dental hygienist is a vital member of the dental care team who offers a variety of services. Hygienists work with people to identify their oral care needs, provide services that help them keep their teeth healthy throughout life, and work closely with the dentist to ensure that treatment needs are met. Those who enter the field should be caring people who enjoy the opportunity to be with others, communicate their expertise to clients, and enjoy working with their hands. Dental hygienists are licensed to practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
Dental hygienists can perform the following tasks:
- take and record dental and medical histories
- perform oral examinations
- scale and polish teeth
- apply topical fluoride treatments
- prepare diagnostic casts
- perform periodontal root planning procedures
- expose and process dental x-rays
- apply sealants
- implement patient education programs
- perform nutritional counseling
- discuss smoking cessation
- other duties approved by the state Board of Dentistry
The Dental Hygiene Program consists of a sequence of courses that prepares students for positions in the dental profession as a dental hygienist. The program emphasizes a combination of didactic and clinical instruction necessary for successful employment. Program graduates receive a Dental Hygiene Associate of Applied Science Degree, and are eligible to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and The Central Regional Dental Testing Services Examination, both of which are required for licensure to practice dental hygiene in the state of Georgia.
The Dental Hygiene Degree program admits fifteen students once per year at the beginning of the Fall Semester. The length of the program is 5 semesters, including a summer semester, over a period of 21 months. Admission into the Dental Hygiene Degree program involves a competitive selection process. Interested students must first enter the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree program to meet the minimum core requirements, or transfer the appropriate coursework from another college. Acceptance into the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree program and meeting the minimum requirements for program admission does not guarantee an applicant’s acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Degree program.
This program is available at:
- Hall Campus