Dental Hygiene Program
Iowa Central’s Dental Hygiene Program DOES NOT HAVE A WAITING LIST. It is a selective limited enrollment program and each year the application, interview and selection process begins over.
The Dental Hygiene (DH) program prepares the student to provide comprehensive therapeutic oral health care and preventative education directly to diverse population groups in both clinical and community environments. An integral part of the dental team, the dental hygienist provides valuable oral health care services which may include oral assessments, oral cancer screenings, removing deposits from the teeth, exposing and processing dental radiographs, the administration of local anesthesia, nutritional counseling, sealant placement, fluoride treatments and preventative education.
After graduation, Dental Hygiene students may have the opportunity to work in the following areas: private dental offices, hospitals, nursing homes, public health clinics, education, research, office management, business administration, and dental company representatives.
Students must earn a grade of a “C” or better in all required dental hygiene courses in order to progress in the dental hygiene program.
Students receive clinical experience at the Iowa Central Dental Hygiene Clinic located at the Fort Dodge Campus. A medical health form and certification in basic cardiac life support must be completed prior to attending clinical sessions and the student must complete the hepatitis immunization before entering the program. Students are required to purchase dental hygiene instruments and other personal protective materials. Transportation to various community projects is the responsibility of the student.
Dental Hygiene is a licensed profession. Applicants for licensure are asked if they have ever been charged, convicted, found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty or no contest to a felony or misdemeanor crime. A prior criminal history or record or habitual use of drugs or intoxicants can be grounds for licensure or licensure registration denial.
Licensure is granted by each individual state. Dental hygienists practice in accordance with requirements of individual state dental practice acts.
In virtually every state, several steps are required before a license can be granted:
- Graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program
- Successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
- Successful completion of a regional or state clinical board examination
- Click to view requirements by state
As licensing requirements vary from state to state, it is necessary to contact each licensing authority in a given state for its specific application requirements and procedures.
Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
In the pursuit of a vocation in the health care professions, the student assumes a routine personal risk that accompanies this choice. This risk is minimized when the practitioner adheres to comprehensive infection control protocols.
Health care workers are to consider all patients as potentially infected with HIV and/or other blood-borne pathogens minimizing the risk of exposure to blood and body fluids of all patients.
Thus blood, saliva and body fluid precautions must be consistently used for all patients regardless of the perceived "low risk" of a patient or patient population.
In the dental health-care setting, "Standard precautions" should be followed when exposed to blood, or any body fluid visibly contaminated with blood. Standard precautions also apply to saliva in the dental setting.
Dental Hygiene students provide services in the oral cavity where they come in contact with blood and saliva. Although diseases may be encountered, research indicates that risks are negligible when optimal infection control is practiced.
Upon entering the program, current infection control measures and practice are presented to the students by qualified faculty.
The 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.
Dental Hygiene Careers
- Private dental offices
- Nursing homes
- Public health clinics
- Office management
- Business administration
- Dental company representatives
I chose Iowa Central because I loved the campus environment. Everyone was so welcoming. The softball team made it feel like a home away from home.