Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene is an Allied Health Profession.

Overview

Dental Hygienists work alongside dentists to meet the oral health care needs of their patients.  Each state has its own regulations that determine the responsibilities of dental hygienists, but  common tasks of the dental hygienist include screening patients and doing initial assessments, taking dental x-rays, removing calculus and plaque from tooth surfaces, applying preventative materials such as sealants and fluoride, and teaching patients about oral hygiene strategies such as brushing, flossing, and proper nutrition.

Students interested in a career in dental hygiene must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program (usually at the Associate’s Degree level), pass the national board exam, and pass a regional or state licensing exam to be licensed in the state.

Other careers in dentistry include dental assistant and dental laboratory technician.  The American Dental Association has provided brief descriptions of each Dental Team Career here:  http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/dental-team-careers

While at CSU

Programs and Preperation

·         Accredited dental hygiene, dental assisting, or dental laboratory technology programs: http://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs/allied-programs

Accredited Programs in Colorado: 

·         Dental Hygiene:

o    Community College of Denver: http://www.ccd.edu/dental

o    Colorado Northwestern Community College:  http://www.cncc.edu/cms/content/dental-hygiene-welcome

o    Pueblo Community College: http://www.pueblocc.edu/Academics/AreasStudy/HealthProfessions/DentalHygiene/

o    Concorde Career College:  http://www.concorde.edu/program/dental-hygiene

·         Dental Assisting:

o    Multiple Programs, see most current list at http://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs/allied-programs

Admissions Tests

Up to the individual program

Application Services

Apply to each program individually

Associations

·         American Dental Association:  http://www.ada.org

·         American Dental Education Association:  http://www.adea.org

·         American Dental Hygienists’ Association:  http://www.adha.org/