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Dental Hygiene (AS) - 88 credits

Why Choose Dental Hygiene?

Dental Hygiene is a specialized field requiring knowledge, critical thinking and competent clinical skills to provide comprehensive patient-centered dental hygiene care. Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and document treatment for prevention, intervention and control of oral diseases, while practicing in collaboration with other health professionals. The field is above average in industry growth, and the specialized skills give students varied employment options.

Description

Dental hygienists provide preventative oral health care by assessing patient risk for oral diseases and providing appropriate patient-centered education and treatment. 

The Dental Hygiene Program curriculum includes topics such as:

  • Oral Anatomy

  • Microbiology

  • Pathology

  • Periodontology

  • Pharmacology

  • Instrumentation

  • Dental Materials

  • Radiology

  • Patient Education and Motivational Interviewing

  • Pain Management

  • Professional Standards

  • Preventive Concepts
  • Community Dental Health

 

Careers in Dental Hygiene

Projected Job Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of 19% from 2014 to 2024 for dental hygienists

Ongoing research linking oral health to general health will continue to spur demand for preventative dental services, which are often provided by dental hygienists.

Click here for further information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Types of Jobs

Individuals who study in Dental Hygiene typically pursue careers in the field of:

  • Clinical Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Hygiene Educators
  • Community Health Dental Hygienists

 

Average State Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, dental hygienists earned an annual median salary of $72,330 nationally ($34.77).

Careerwise Education lists the median annual income for dental hygienists in the state of Minnesota as $71,010 ($34.14 per hour)

For further information please see occupational employment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Degrees in Dental Hygiene

  • Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene
  • Students can receive a four-year degree on Normandale's campus through dual admission program with Metropolitan State University

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This program provides academic and clinical educational opportunities for capable individuals to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the professional practice of dental hygiene. The curriculum focuses on sciences, as well as essential technical and clinical skills in preparation for providing preventive dental hygiene services to the public. Dental hygienists are preventive oral healthcare professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, which provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services supporting a patient's total health through the promotion of optimal oral health.

The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program at Normandale Community College is to prepare dental hygiene students in the provision of comprehensive dental hygiene care, while emphasizing professionalism, communication, social responsibility, and lifelong learning.

Program goals:

  • Prepare graduates who will be competent to provide quality comprehensive dental hygiene care
  • Promote admission of a qualified and diverse student population
  • Participate in interprofessional community health promotion
  • Engage in professional activities and lifelong learning
  • Maintain a program that reflects relevant, current and advancing dental hygiene practice
  • Incorporate emerging technologies to enhance quality dental hygiene care.

Normandale Community College offers the Associate of Science (AS) degree in Dental Hygiene as a two-year program located within the health sciences division. NOTE: Most students complete their required science and liberal arts courses prior to acceptance into the program. The dental hygiene coursework requires four semesters to complete and begins each fall semester. Graduates will be eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, Central Regional Dental Testing Examination and the Minnesota State Board of Dentistry Jurisprudence Examination for licensure in the State of Minnesota.

Following graduation and licensure requirements of the State Board of Dentistry, the dental hygienist becomes a primary healthcare professional, oral health educator and clinician who may choose to work in a variety of settings.

Dual Admission and Enrollment Option

B.S. in Dental Hygiene

Through a partnership with Metropolitan State University, we offer the option of a dual admission and enrollment program. This means that there is simultaneous admittance to the Normandale Associate Degree program and Metropolitan State University Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) program if an applicant chooses this option. For those who are anxious to obtain a BSDH, this can be accomplished within one to two semesters after completion of the Associate Degree Program. More information about this option is available by meeting with the Health Sciences Enrollment Manager, Kiara Taylor.

Accreditation

The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation may be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is http://www.ada.org/en/coda

Core Courses - 50 credits

Note: Courses are web-supplemented and web-enhanced, requiring computer and Internet access.

Code Title Credits
DENH 1112 Oral and Facial Anatomy 3
DENH 1140 Pre-Clinic Theory 3
DENH 1141 Pre-Clinic Skill Development 4
DENH 1142 Clinic 1 Theory 2
DENH 1143 Clinic 1 4
DENH 1150 Dental Radiology 4
or DENH 1151 Accelerated Dental Radiology 2
DENH 1160 Dental Materials 2
or DENH 1161 Accelerated Dental Materials 1
DENH 1162 Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist 2
DENH 2240 Clinic 2 Theory 2
DENH 2241 Clinic 2 6
DENH 2242 Clinic 3 Theory 2
DENH 2243 Clinic 3 6
DENH 2252 Clinical Radiology 1 1
DENH 2254 Clinical Radiology 2 1
DENH 2263 Pain Management 2
DENH 2264 Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist 2
DENH 2266 General and Oral Pathology 2
DENH 2281 Preventive Concepts in Community Dental Health 2

Additional Required Courses - 38 credits

Progression through the program is dependent upon a grade of C or higher for each of the following courses:

Code Title Credits
ENGC 1101 Freshman Composition 4
COMM 1111 Interpersonal Communication 3
CHEM 1050 Foundations of Organic and Biochemistry 3
BIOL 2041 Human Anatomy 4
BIOL 2042 Human Physiology 4
BIOL 2043 Microbiology 4
HLTH 1107 Principles of Nutrition 3
PSYC 1110 Introduction to Psychology 4
SOC 1104 Introduction to Sociology 3
MATH 0700 Intermediate Algebra 0

MnTC Electives - Choose two courses (at least 3 credits each) from 2 of the following MnTC Goal areas: 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10.*

*Note: Students who are considering a bachelor's degree completion program are strongly encouraged to complete their Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) electives by taking MATH 1080 (Goal 4) and one class from Goal 6 and/or 10. These courses will meet bachelor degree completion requirements at Metropolitan State University.

Other Degree Requirements

  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for college-level coursework (courses numbered 1000 and above) completed at Normandale.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in the MnTC
  • Earn a minimum of 20 college-level credits at Normandale.

Coursework in this degree program satisfies a portion of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). Please see MnTC Degree Audit Report.

 

Admission Requirements and Application Process

  • Applicants who are new to Normandale must complete the online College application, found at www.normandale.edu/apply. Acceptance to the College does not imply acceptance into the dental hygiene program. A separate Normandale Health Sciences Dental Hygiene Program application must be submitted to be considered for acceptance into the dental hygiene program. The completed application is to be submitted to the Health Sciences Enrollment Manager (located in A2540) by December 31 of each year. The Dental Hygiene application can be found on the Dental Hygiene Apply page
  • An overall college GPA of 2.75 or higher is required.
  • If the student earned credits in the fall semester, official transcripts with these fall grades must be submitted to the Health Science Enrollment Manager by January 15 to complete the application.
  • All applicants will be notified of their dental hygiene program application status via US mail on or before April 30 of each year.
  • Applicants who are not accepted into the dental hygiene program and have met the application requirements will be placed on an alternate list.
  • Applicants who were placed on the alternate list and were not accepted into the program will need to meet all requirements and reapply for admission into the program the following year.

Dental Hygiene Application Requirements:

The requirements below must be completed before an application is processed. A grade of C or higher is required for each course.

MATH 0700

or equivalent or higher

ENGC 1101

or equivalent

CHEM 1050

or equivalent

BIOL 2041

with a lab or equivalent

BIOL 2042

with a lab or equivalent or show registration in this course for spring semester

BIOL 2043*

with a lab or equivalent.

*NOTE: To increase their science ranking points on an application, students are strongly encouraged to complete this course prior to program application, although it may be completed during the first year of the dental hygiene program.

Additional Program Information

Visit www.normandale.edu/dental-hygiene. If you have further questions, please contact the Health Science Enrollment Manager, Kiara Taylor at kiara.taylor@normandale.edu or call 952-358-8417.

General Information
In addition to general fees and books, admitted dental hygiene students purchase uniforms, instruments, clinic supplies, software and textbooks. Each student is required to purchase dental professional liability insurance which is included in course fees each fall. Students will be required to pay additional fees to take the National Board Exam, Central Regional Clinical Board Exam and State Jurisprudence examination during the spring semester of the second year of study.

Due to the nature of the dental hygiene profession, students will be participating in a learning environment that has the potential of exposure to blood borne pathogens. Students accepted into the program are provided with written policies and instruction on infection control protocol to reduce the risk of disease transmission. The program complies with all institutional, local, state and federal policies. Policies and procedures on the dental hygiene program's infection control protocol are available to applicants upon request. All students must complete the following prior to entry in fall semester of the first year of study and must be maintained throughout enrollment in the program.

  • Physical examination
  • Immunizations
  • Optical examination
  • Successful Minnesota Department of Human Services background study
  • HIPAA training
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for the health care provider

Students entering the Dental Hygiene program are expected to meet the Technical Standards for Entry-Level Dental Hygiene Programs. These technical standards are required abilities for effective performance in the Minnesota State dental hygiene education program. The standards are compatible with the scope of practice as defined by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.

Sequence of Courses:


First Year Fall Semester - 13 credits

Code Title Credits
COMM 1111 Interpersonal Communication 3
DENH 1112 Oral and Facial Anatomy 3
DENH 1140 Pre-Clinic Theory 3
DENH 1141 Pre-Clinic Skill Development 4

First Year Spring Semester - 18 credits

Code Title Credits
BIOL 2043 Microbiology 4
DENH 1142 Clinic 1 Theory 2
DENH 1143 Clinic 1 4
DENH 1150 Dental Radiology 4
DENH 1160 Dental Materials 2
DENH 1162 Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist 2

Summer Sessions 1 and 2 - 8 credits

Code Title Credits
PSYC 1110 Introduction to Psychology 4

    Electives for 4 credits.

Second Year Fall Semester - 18 credits

Code Title Credits
DENH 2240 Clinic 2 Theory 2
DENH 2241 Clinic 2 6
DENH 2252 Clinical Radiology 1 1
DENH 2263 Pain Management 2
DENH 2264 Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist 2
DENH 2266 General and Oral Pathology 2
HLTH 1107 Principles of Nutrition 3

Second Year Spring Semester - 14 credits

Code Title Credits
DENH 2242 Clinic 3 Theory 2
DENH 2243 Clinic 3 6
DENH 2254 Clinical Radiology 2 1
DENH 2281 Preventive Concepts in Community Dental Health 2
SOC 1104 Introduction to Sociology 3

Additional Information
For more information on advanced degrees, visit the Advanced Degrees page in the Dental Hygiene section.