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Dental Hygiene Overview

The AS Dental Hygiene program at Rhodes State provides students with an excellent dental hygiene education, encouraging personal and professional growth. The faculty are committed to offering the highest level of instruction to each student. All clinical instruction, assessment and evaluation is provided by licensed dental hygienists and dentists in the modern, well-equipped Dental Hygiene Clinic located on Rhodes State’s campus.

Dental health activities are integrated throughout the program, preparing graduates to be vital members of the community. The curriculum is a combination of classroom, laboratory and clinical courses with emphasis given to assisting the student in appreciating the value of comprehensive dental hygiene care. Within the program, students will  have access to computerized patient management programs, digital radiographs, community-based clinic, and  professional associations.

Scholarship Opportunity 

Rhodes State has been awarded a Choose Ohio First (COF) Scholarship grant by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The grant provides scholarships to students majoring in disciplines that significantly strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine (STEMM) education and industry.

Choose Ohio First

Dental Hygiene Highlights

  • Computerized patient management program
  • Digital radiographs
  • Community based clinic provides for hands-on, real world experience
  • 100% of Dental Hygiene students and faculty are members of their professional association
  • Program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) since 1976
  • Graduates, employers, and patients express satisfaction on surveys

Dental Hygiene Program Briefing

Our program briefings are designed to introduce you to the profession, job opportunities, program requirements, and other important information you will need to get started. Your attendance at one of the dental hygiene career briefings is a wait list requirement.

Register for a briefing

Career Opportunities

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. Examples of clinical settings include:

  • Private dental practices
  • Community clinics
  • Hospitals
  • University dental clinics
  • Prison facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools

Corporate dental hygienists are employed by companies that support the oral health industry through the sale of products and services. Leaders throughout the dental industry often employ dental hygienists due to their clinical experience and understanding of dental practice. Examples of corporate positions include:

  • Sales representatives
  • Product researchers
  • Corporate educators
  • Corporate administrators

Community Health programs are typically funded by government or nonprofit organizations. These positions often offer an opportunity to provide care to those who otherwise would not have access to dental care. Examples of public health opportunities include a variety of roles and settings:

  • Clinicians, Administrators, Researchers
  • State Public Health Officer
  • Community Clinic Administrator
  • Indian Health Service
  • Head Start programs
  • Local health departments
  • National Health Service Corps
  • School sealant programs
  • Rural or inner city community clinics

Research conducted by dental hygienists can be either qualitative or quantitative. Quantitative research involves conducting surveys & analyzing the results, while qualitative research may involve testing a new procedure, product, or theory for accuracy or effectiveness. Examples of research settings include:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Corporations
  • Governmental agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations

Dental Hygiene educators are in great demand. Colleges and universities throughout the U. S. require dental hygiene instructors who use educational theory and methodology to educate competent oral health care professionals. Corporations also employ educators who provide continuing education to licensed dental hygienists. Examples of education positions may be full time or part time and include:

  • Clinical instructors
  • Classroom instructors
  • Program directors
  • Corporate educators

Dental hygienists in administrative positions apply organizational skills, communicate objectives, identify and manage resources, and evaluate and modify programs of health, education and health care. Examples of administrative positions include:

  • Clinical Director, statewide school sealant program
  • Program Director, dental hygiene educational program
  • Dean of Health Sciences, educational institution
  • Executive Director, state association staff
  • Director, corporate sales

By using imagination and creativity to initiate or finance new commercial enterprises, dental hygienists have become successful entrepreneurs in a variety of businesses. Entrepreneurial opportunities developed by dental hygienists include:

  • Product Development and Sales
  • Practice Management Company
  • Employment Service
  • CE provider or Meeting Planner
  • Consulting Business
  • Founder of Nonprofit
  • Independent Clinical Practice
  • Professional Speaker / Writer

Dental Hygiene Plan of Study

view plan of study

Professional Licensure Information

Graduates of the program are awarded an Associate Degree of Applied Science. Upon successful completion of the program, the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) Dental Hygiene Examination, and the Ohio Jurisprudence Examination, graduates will be eligible to apply for state licensure. 

Accreditation Information

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 can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: https://www.ada.org/100.aspx. The program has held this accreditation status since inception in 1976.