Dental Hygiene A.A.S.

Dental Hygiene
Program Code: A45260

Dental Hygiene A.A.S.

The Dental Hygiene curriculum provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate dental hygiene care for the individual and the community.

Students will learn to prepare the operatory, take patient histories, note abnormalities, plan care, teach oral hygiene, clean teeth, take x-rays, apply preventive agents, complete necessary chart entries, and perform other procedures related to dental hygiene care.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to take national and state/regional examinations for licensure which are required to practice dental hygiene. Employment opportunities include dental offices, clinics, schools, public health agencies, industry, and professional education.

This program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, 1 (800) 621-8099, Ext. 2705.

 

Specific Requirements

  1. General college admission requirements.
  2. This program has a selective selection process. See Selective Allied Health Program Criteria on the Selective and Limited Programs page of the A-B Tech website.
  3. High school chemistry or equivalent from A-B Tech or other regionally-accredited colleges.
  4. Acceptable report of medical examination by the first day of class.
  5. Completion of required immunizations by the first day of class, including the first two doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine.
  6. Students applying to the Dental Hygiene program are encouraged to have successfully completed all General Education requirements prior to program admission due to the rigorous nature of the Dental Hygiene curriculum.
  7. The North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners may deny a license to individuals convicted of a felony or any other crime involving moral turpitude.

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is designed for direct entry into the respective field. Individuals wishing to pursue educational opportunities beyond the A.A.S. should refer to the Transfer Advising Center.

 

Dental Hygiene Program Goals

Patient Care

To prepare students through didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences to provide dental hygiene services in a variety of dental settings while upholding professional standards.

Teaching

To provide foundational knowledge through a strong curriculum that prepares students to assume responsibility for ethical dental hygiene care and helps develop the skills necessary to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Service

To promote commitment to the profession through licensure, membership with professional organizations, continuing education, and community service.

Research

To provide a curriculum that reflects relevant and current evidence-based dental hygiene care.

Employment Statistics

Specific Requirements

Courses requiring a grade of “C” or better: ACA, BIO, CHM, DEN

Courses in this program

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides a basic study of the structure and function of the human body. Topics include a basic study of the body systems as well as an introduction to homeostasis, cells, tissues, nutrition, acid-base balance, and electrolytes. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology and their interrelationships. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a pre-major and/or elective course requirement.

This course provides a survey of basic facts and principles of general, organic, and biochemistry. Topics include measurement, molecular structure, nuclear chemistry, solutions, acid-base chemistry, gas laws, and the structure, properties, and reactions of major organic and biological groups. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental chemical concepts. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a pre-major and/or elective course requirement.

This course is a laboratory for CHM-130. Emphasis is placed on laboratory experiences that enhance materials presented in CHM-130. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize basic laboratory procedures and apply them to chemical principles presented in CHM-130. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a pre-major and/or elective course requirement.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

This course introduces the structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology. Upon completion, students should be able to relate the identification of normal structures and development to the practice of dental assisting and dental hygiene.

This course introduces the infection and hazard control procedures necessary for the safe practice of dentistry. Topics include microbiology, practical infection control, sterilization and monitoring, chemical disinfectants, aseptic technique, infectious diseases, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws. Upon completion, students should be able to understand infectious diseases, disease transmission, infection control procedures, biohazard management, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws.

This course provides a comprehensive view of the principles and procedures of radiology as they apply to dentistry. Topics include techniques in exposing, processing, and evaluating radiographs, as well as radiation safety, quality assurance, and legal issues. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs using appropriate safety precautions.

This course introduces preoperative and clinical dental hygiene concepts. Emphasis is placed on the assessment phase of patient care as well as the theory of basic dental hygiene instrumentation. Upon completion, students should be able to collect and evaluate patient data at a basic level and demonstrate knowledge of dental hygiene instrumentation.

This course provides the opportunity to perform clinical dental hygiene procedures discussed in DEN-120. Emphasis is placed on clinical skills in patient assessment and instrumentation techniques. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to perform specific preclinical procedures. Also, students should be able to demonstrate the aseptic technique used in a dental environment.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course covers principles of microbiology with emphasis on microorganisms and human disease. Topics include an overview of microbiology and aspects of medical microbiology, identification, and control of pathogens, disease transmission, host resistance, and immunity. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of microorganisms and the disease process as well as aseptic and sterile techniques. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a pre-major and/or elective course requirement.

This course provides an in-depth study of the periodontium, periodontal pathology, periodontal monitoring, and the principles of periodontal therapy. Topics include periodontal anatomy and a study of the etiology, classification, and treatment modalities of periodontal diseases. Upon completion, students should be able to describe, compare, and contrast techniques involved in periodontal/maintenance therapy, as well as patient care management.

This course provides a study of the management of dental office emergencies. Topics include methods of prevention, necessary equipment/drugs, medicolegal considerations, recognition and effective initial management of a variety of emergencies. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize, assess, and manage various dental office emergencies and activate advanced medical support when indicated.

This course is a continuation of the didactic dental hygiene concepts necessary for providing an oral prophylaxis. Topics include deposits/removal, instrument sharpening, patient education, fluorides, planning for dental hygiene treatment, charting, and clinical records and procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the knowledge needed to complete thorough oral prophylaxis.

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on treatment of the recall patients with gingivitis or light deposits. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients’ needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

This course provides basic drug terminology, general principles of drug actions, dosages, routes of administration, adverse reactions, and basic principles of anesthesiology. Emphasis is placed on knowledge of drugs in the overall understanding of patient histories and health status. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize that each patient’s general health or drug usage may require modification of the treatment procedures.

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies English Composition.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the practices and principles of interpersonal communication in both dyadic and group settings. Emphasis is placed on the communication process, perception, listening, self-disclosure, speech apprehension, ethics, nonverbal communication, conflict, power, and dysfunctional communication relationships. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate interpersonal communication skills, apply basic principles of group discussion, and manage conflict in interpersonal communication situations.

This course introduces basic principles of nutrition with emphasis on nutritional requirements and their application to individual patient needs. Topics include the study of Federal Nutritional Guidelines, nutrient functions, Recommended Daily Allowances, Adequate Intake, Tolerable Upper Intake Level, Estimated Average Requirement, and related psychological principles. Upon completion, students should be able to recommend and counsel individuals on their food intake as related to their dental health.

This course introduces principles in treatment modification. Topics include modification of treatment for pain management and advanced radiographic interpretation. Upon completion, students should be able to differentiate necessary treatment modifications and radiographic abnormalities.

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on the treatment of patients with early periodontal disease and subgingival deposits. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients’ needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

This course provides a general knowledge of oral pathological manifestations associated with selected systemic and oral diseases. Topics include developmental and degenerative diseases, selected microbial diseases, specific and nonspecific immune and inflammatory responses with an emphasis on recognizing abnormalities. Upon completion, students should be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissues and refer unusual findings to the dentist for a diagnosis.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces advanced principles of patient care. Topics include advanced periodontal debridement, subgingival irrigation, air polishing, special needs and case presentations. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of methods of treatment and management of periodontally compromised and special needs patients.

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on the treatment of patients with moderate to advanced periodontal involvement and moderate deposits. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients’ needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

This course introduces the physical properties of materials and related procedures used in dentistry. Topics include restorative and preventative materials, fabrication of casts and appliances, and chair-side functions of the dental hygienist. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and/or clinical application of routinely used dental materials and chair-side functions.

This course provides a study of the principles and methods used in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating community dental health programs. Topics include epidemiology, research methodology, biostatistics, preventive dental care, dental health education, program planning, and financing and utilization of dental services. Upon completion, students should be able to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate a community dental health program.

This course examines the influence of culture and social groups on individual behavior and personality. Emphasis is placed on the process of socialization, communication, conformity, deviance, interpersonal attraction, intimacy, race and ethnicity, small group experiences, and social movements. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and analyze cultural and social forces that influence the individual in a society. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a general education course in Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides an opportunity to increase knowledge of the profession. Emphasis is placed on dental specialties, technological advances, and completion of a case study presentation. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of various disciplines of dentistry, technological advances, and principles of case presentations.

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on periodontal maintenance and on treating patients with moderate to advanced/refractory periodontal disease. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients’ needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

This course provides a study of the principles and methods used in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating community dental health programs. Topics include epidemiology, research methodology, biostatistics, preventive dental care, dental health education, program planning, and financing and utilization of dental services. Upon completion, students should be able to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate a community dental health program.

This course includes professional development, ethics, and jurisprudence with applications to practice management. Topics include conflict management, state laws, resumes, interviews, and legal liabilities as health care professionals. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to practice dental hygiene within established ethical standards and state laws.

This course introduces the use of critical thinking skills in the context of human conflict. Emphasis is placed on evaluating information, problem-solving, approaching cross-cultural perspectives, and resolving controversies and dilemmas. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate orally and in writing the use of critical thinking skills in the analysis of appropriate texts. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a general education course in Humanities/Fine Arts.

Total Credit Hours Required:
72

Curriculum is based on the 2020-21 catalog.

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