Dental Hygiene (DH)
(Effective Fall 2013)
- School of Nursing & Health Sciences
- Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
- More Information about Dental Hygiene
This curriculum offers the theoretical and clinical education needed for a variety of dental hygiene careers. The major provides a diversified background to prepare students for licensing exams, immediate employment, and lifelong learning.
Dental hygienists are employed in private dental practices, research, government health agencies, school systems, hospital and public health clinics, military services, and in dental hygiene education programs.
Recommended High School Subjects
Because of the strong emphasis on science in this major, applicants are encouraged to complete one year of high school biology, two years of high school algebra, and chemistry with a laboratory.
Special Admissions Requirements
Acceptance into this competitive major is based on an admissions ranking process. To view acceptance criteria, testing requirements, performance expectations, and the admissions ranking system, consult the detailed special admissions information. Candidates for the Dental Hygiene program must possess the Technical Standards required of a dental hygienist.
Special Equipment Needs
Upon admission to this major, additional expenses will be encountered for uniforms, personal protective equipment, and instruments. Refer to the list of tools, uniforms, and supplies.
Deficiencies identified by placement testing will be remediated prior to admission. Chemistry must be satisfied prior to admission to the major. Applicants not having a "C" or better in high school chemistry with a lab within the past 10 years must pass one of the following: CHM 100, or CHM 108 or higher, or an adult education chemistry course at an approved high school prior to admission to the Dental Hygiene major.
Students in this major can transfer to the Dental Hygiene bachelor-degree option (BDE) or the Applied Health Studies major (BAH). This major will subscribe to the transfer standards established by the College.
International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.
Program GoalsA graduate of this major should be able to:
- apply the ADHA Professional Code of Ethics in all endeavors.
- adhere to state and federal laws and regulations in the provision of dental hygiene care.
- utilize methods to ensure the health and safety of the patient and the dental hygienist in the delivery of dental hygiene.
- manage medical emergencies in the patient care environment through recognition and/or provision of appropriate life support measures.
- assume responsibility for dental hygiene actions and care based on accepted scientific theories and research as well as the accepted standard of care.
- provide accurate, complete, and confidential documentation of dental hygiene services rendered in the dental hygiene process of care.
- utilize published oral health research and critically apply this information to the practice of dental hygiene.
- communicate effectively with individuals and diverse population groups.
- promote and support the profession through service activities and affiliations with professional organizations.
- practice self-assessment that leads to ongoing professional growth and life-long learning.
- identify dental hygiene career opportunities within health care systems, industry, education, and research.
- collect, analyze, and record data on the general, oral, and psychosocial health status of a variety of patients using methods consistent with medico-legal principles.
- use diagnostic technologies and critical decision-making skills to formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis and reach conclusions about the patient's dental hygiene needs based on all available assessment data.
- collaborate with the patient and other health care professionals as indicated, to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is patient centered and based on the best scientific evidence and professional judgment.
- provide specialized treatment that includes preventive and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain oral health.
- evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented clinical, preventive, and educational services, and modify as needed.
- assess the oral health needs and services of the community to determine action plans and availability of resources.
- provide screening, referral, and educational services in a variety of community settings.
- evaluate reimbursement mechanisms and their impact on patient access to oral health care.
- evaluate the outcomes of community-based programs and plan for future activities.
Students must earn a minimum grade of 'C' in each aspect of their dental hygiene courses. Failure to do so will result in termination from the major.
|FYE101||First Year Experience||1|
|DEN103||Dental Hygiene I||4|
|BIO115||Human Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|ENL111||English Composition I||3|
|DEN126||Dental Hygiene II||5|
|DEN130||Introduction to Periodontics||2|
|DEN211||Oral Health and Nutrition||2|
|BIO125||Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|MMM||Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher)||3|
|DEN202||General and Oral Pathology||2|
|DEN214||Dental Materials and Specialties||3|
|DEN216||Dental Hygiene III||6|
|DEN220||Community Dental Health||2|
|DEN224||Dental Law and Ethics||1||Writing Enriched Requirement|
|DEN227||Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice||5|
|DEN240||Techniques in Pain Control||2|
|CSC124||Information, Technology, and Society||3|
|SPC101||Fundamentals of Speech||3|
|FIT||Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective||1|
|SSE||Social Science Elective||3|
Notice of Conviction
Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in fieldwork and/or capstones. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. The Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry advises that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act can result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice dental hygiene. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director.
The associate degree program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of APPROVAL (without reporting requirements). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda
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