Dental Hygiene, AS

Notice: The Associate of Science Dental Hygiene Degree will be discontinued and replaced with the Bachelor of Science, Dental Hygiene Degree effective Fall 2019. See Academic Advising for information on the proposed BS, Dental Hygiene Degree program.

The Associate of Science, Dental Hygiene Program is a two-year (four-semester) program once the student has been accepted, which does not include the general education requirements for the Associate of Science degree or the science prerequisite courses for dental hygiene.

Graduates of the TMCC dental hygiene program will be prepared to complete the written Dental Hygiene National Board Examination, the Nevada State Board Clinical Examination and many other state/regional clinical examinations in the U.S.

Accreditation information is available on the Dental Hygiene Website. 

Outcomes

Students completing the degree will be:

  • Eligible to apply for and take the written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE).
  • Eligible to apply for and take the ethics examination for state licensure.
  • Eligible to apply for and sit for a state or regional clinical examination.
 

Apply

Students must apply for entrance into the Dental Hygiene program. The application is available on the Dental Hygiene website. 

Dental Hygiene Program

The dental hygienist is dedicated to providing preventative and therapeutic dental hygiene care. Some of the responsibilities routinely performed by hygienists in Nevada include:

  • Performing oral cancer screening through examination of soft tissues.
  • Examining periodontal (gum and bone) structure around and supporting teeth.
  • Taking and interpreting radiographs.
  • Removing stain, hard (calculus), and soft (plaque) deposits from tooth surfaces above and below the gum line utilizing scaling and root planing procedures.
  • Administering topical fluoride treatments.
  • Applying dental sealants.
  • Administering local anesthesia and nitrous-oxide sedation.
  • Designing and implementing treatment plans for individuals.
  • Designing and implementing oral health programs for groups.
  • Providing dental health education for individuals and groups.

Graduates of the TMCC dental hygiene program will be prepared to complete the written Dental Hygiene National Board Examination, the Nevada State Board Clinical Examination and many other state/regional clinical examinations in the U.S.

The dental hygiene program is a two-year (four-semester) program once the student has been accepted which does not include the general education requirements for the Associate of Science degree or the science prerequisite courses for dental hygiene.

Dental hygiene students must meet certain technical standards:

  • Possess good hand/eye coordination and manual strength and dexterity to perform instrumentation skills necessary for direct patient care.
  • Hold a current CPR card and be able to perform emergency procedures required in the field.
  • Be free from conditions which put other humans at risk (i.e., active tuberculosis. Persons with blood borne pathogen infections are not excluded from the program or clinic facility.).
  • Possess ability to read, write, record and report.
  • Be able to understand and react quickly to verbal instructions and patient needs.
  • Be able to effectively communicate with patients to explain procedures, provide instructions and educate.

Limited Entry

The dental hygiene program is a limited entry program. Twelve to fourteen students will be admitted each fall. The application is available on the Dental Hygiene homepage under "Steps to Apply" tab. Application's open in January and close in February. See Steps to Apply webpage for application dates.

A minimum GPA of 2.75 (4.0 scale) and a "C" or higher in general education and pre-requisite courses is required. Recent completion of the following program degree requirements are required:

BIOL 223Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 224Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOL 251General Microbiology4
CHEM 220Introductory Organic Chemistry4
COM 113Fundamentals of Speech Communications3

Applicants not selected will not be carried forward to the next year, and must reapply for consideration. Additional program information is available in the dental clinic office 775- 673-8293, located in the Red Mountain Building (RDMT) 415-A, Admissions and Records in RDMT 319, and Academic Advisement in RDMT 111.

Student Selection

 The final selection of students will be conducted by the dental hygiene program screening committee. Applicants will be ranked using selection criteria including experience in the field, overall prerequisite GPA, pre-requisite science GPA and other criteria established by the screening committee. The DH ACCUPLACER Test can be taken a maximum of three times and must have been taken within two years of applying. A minimum of eight hours of dental office observation must be completed within 13 months of applying.

Dental hygiene applicants are limited to repeating program pre-requisite science courses (BIOL 223BIOL 224BIOL 251, and CHEM 220) once. This means the students will take the course for the first time, and may repeat the same course once. If a student enrolls in a pre-requisite science course and withdraws from course with a “W," this will be counted as one attempt.

Accepted Students

Students accepted into the program will be required to attend a mandatory new student orientation. Once accepted into the program, students will be required to show proof and adherence to the dental hygiene program infectious disease/immunization policy, prior to starting classes.  A medical exam is required and medical insurance is recommended.

Licensure

All states require that dental hygienists be licensed. In addition to successfully graduating from the accredited dental hygiene program and passing the written Dental Hygiene National Board Examination, graduates must pass a Clinical Examination. The Nevada Dental Practice Act (NRS 631.290) requires that candidates for licensure be of good moral character and be citizens of the U.S. or lawfully entitled to remain and work in the U.S. Prospective students are advised that if they have felony or misdemeanor convictions or have a history of substance abuse or infectious disease that this may preclude subsequent licensure as a dental hygienist in Nevada (NAC 631.050).

General Education Requirements
English3-6
Must include ENG 102 or ENG 114 1
Fine Arts3
Recommended:
Theater: a Cultural Context
Humanities3
Required:
Introduction to Ethics
Mathematics3
Required:
Pre-Calculus I (or higher)
Science6
Required:
Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
and Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory
General Chemistry I
Social Science3
Required:
General Psychology
Additional College Requirements
Diversity 2[3]
Science6
Science courses fulfilling the 6 units include:
Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (1 unit from General Education)
Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory (1 unit from General Education)
General Microbiology (4 units)
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions3
Degree Requirements
BIOL 223Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 224Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
CHEM 220Introductory Organic Chemistry4
COM 113Fundamentals of Speech Communications3
DH 102Oral Biology4
DH 103Head and Neck Anatomy2
DH 104Dental Hygiene I3
DH 105Intro to Clinical Practice2
DH 107Legal and Ethical Implications in Dental Hygiene1
DH 110Concepts of Oral Health2
DH 112Oral Radiology3
DH 113General and Oral Pathology3
DH 115Clinical Practice I3
DH 118Advanced Clinical Topics in Dental Hygiene2
DH 120Fundamentals of Nutrition in Dentistry3
DH 202Pharmacology2
DH 203Special Patients2
DH 205Clinical Practice II5
DH 207Periodontics I2
DH 208Community Dental Health I2
DH 209Pain and Anxiety Control3
DH 211Dental Materials and Techniques2
DH 214Periodontics II1
DH 215Clinical Practice III5
DH 218Community Dental Health II2
DH 299Independent Study4
SOC 101Principles of Sociology3
Total Units109
1

If you place into ENG 102 or ENG 114 there will be no additional electives required. The total degree units will be 106. 

2

May also count toward degree requirements. Please consult with Academic Advisement.

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
COM 113 Fundamentals of Speech Communications 3
ENG 101
Composition I
or Composition I for International Students
3
Fine Arts/Diversity 4 3
MATH 126 Pre-Calculus I 3
 Semester Total12
2nd semester
BIOL 190
190L
Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
and Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory
4
CHEM 121 General Chemistry I 4
ENG 102
Composition II
or Composition II For International Students
3
 Semester Total11
3rd semester
BIOL 223 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
CHEM 220 Introductory Organic Chemistry 4
PHIL 135 Introduction to Ethics 3
PSY 101 General Psychology 3
 Semester Total14
4th semester
BIOL 224 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIOL 251 General Microbiology 4
SOC 101 Principles of Sociology 3
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 3 3
 Semester Total14
5th semester
DH 102 Oral Biology 4
DH 103 Head and Neck Anatomy 2
DH 104 Dental Hygiene I 3
DH 105 Intro to Clinical Practice 2
DH 110 Concepts of Oral Health 2
DH 112 Oral Radiology 3
DH 299 Independent Study 1
 Semester Total17
6th semester
DH 113 General and Oral Pathology 3
DH 115 Clinical Practice I 3
DH 118 Advanced Clinical Topics in Dental Hygiene 2
DH 120 Fundamentals of Nutrition in Dentistry 3
DH 202 Pharmacology 2
DH 209 Pain and Anxiety Control 3
DH 299 Independent Study 1
 Semester Total17
7th semester
DH 203 Special Patients 2
DH 205 Clinical Practice II 5
DH 207 Periodontics I 2
DH 208 Community Dental Health I 2
DH 211 Dental Materials and Techniques 2
DH 299 Independent Study 1
 Semester Total14
8th semester
DH 107 Legal and Ethical Implications in Dental Hygiene 1
DH 214 Periodontics II 1
DH 215 Clinical Practice III 5
DH 218 Community Dental Health II 2
DH 299 Independent Study 1
 Semester Total10
 Total Units109
3

See approved General Education list for the AA/AS Degree.

4

 See program recommendations or requirements.