Dental Hygiene Program
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.
- Private dental offices
- Nursing homes
- Public health clinics
- Office management
- Business administration
- 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