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Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene

Division of Nursing & Allied Health – Curriculum Code: 2108

A Joint Admissions Program with Rutgers University-School of Health Related Professions (SHRP).
Will Earn Upon Program Completion: Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree
(Also see General Science A.S. Degree Program)

 

Why major in Dental Hygiene?

The associate’s degree program, offered jointly by Essex County College and Rutgers University-School of Health Related Professions (SHRP), prepares an individual for a career as a registered dental hygienist. Dental hygienists perform services that detect, prevent, and treat diseases of the mouth under the supervision of a dentist. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association/Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Graduates are qualified to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the North Eastern Regional Board examinations to secure a license to practice. Dental hygienists can obtain employment in private dental offices, community and school health education programs, hospital dental clinics, and private industrial employee clinics.

If I major in Dental Hygiene, can I transfer to an upper-division college or university?

Although the major is job-oriented, most courses will transfer in the Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree program with Rutgers University-School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) and Thomas Edison State College (TESC).

Are there any requirements I must satisfy before I start taking courses in my major?

Admission into the professional component of the program is selective. The application deadline is April 1 for enrollment in the following spring semester. Each student must meet with a program advisor prior to submission of an application. The following are the minimum requirements for admission:

  • Be at college level in reading, English, and mathematics, which may require the completion of developmental courses based on placement test scores.
  • Complete a 35-credit pre-professional component of general education courses and basic science courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Attain a grade of “C” or above in each of the following prerequisite courses: BIO 121, BIO 122, BIO 211, CHM 101, ENG 101, and PSY 101 with a minimum GPA of 2.85 or higher for these courses.
  • Attain a grade of “C” or above in each of the following general education courses prior to the start of the dental courses in January: ENG 102, ENG 109, MTH 100 or higher, and SOC 101.
How long will it take for me to complete this degree?

If you do not need developmental course work and have completed the pre-requisite courses for admission, you can complete the professional phase of the program in four academic semesters if you register for an average of 13 credits each semester. It is important to note that some courses may be web-based and, as such, may require students to have a computer and internet access.

Where should I direct specific questions about this program?

Call the Division at (973) 877-1868/3246.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
  • Perform the following duties: prophylaxis (clean teeth); administer fluoride; provide patient education and nutritional counseling; expose, process, and mount radiographs; examine head, neck, and oral areas for disease; fabricate mouth guards; polish amalgam restorations; work as a member of the dental health care team; and administer local anesthesia;
  • Exhibit competency as clinicians through demonstrated performance on the North East Regional Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the National Board Examination and feedback from employers’ surveys;
  • Assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention for individuals and communities through participation in multiple dental health education projects;
  • Perform multiple, advanced-level dental auxiliary functions as defined in the New Jersey State Dental Practice Act program goals;
  • Obtain the RDH license;
  • Demonstrate professional development through membership in the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association and through participation in related activities; and Display professionalism in the delivery of comprehensive dental health care.
Additional Dental Hygiene Program goals include the following:
  • Prepare individuals for employment as dental hygienists;
  • Determine student satisfaction with their educational program; and
  • Assess patient satisfaction with treatment service provided by students through data collection via the patient satisfaction survey.

 

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

(20 credits)

Written & Oral Communication (6 credits)

ENG 101 and ENG 102 (two 3-credit courses)

Quantitative Knowledge & Skills (4 credits)

Choose one of the following math courses: MTH 100, MTH 101, MTH 103, MTH 113, MTH 119, MTH 120, MTH 121, MTH 122, MTH 127, MTH 221, or MTH 222 (one 4-credit course)

Scientific Knowledge & Reasoning (4 credits)

CHM 101 (one 4-credit course)

Society & Human Behavior (6 credits)

PSY 101 and SOC 101 (two 3-credit courses)

MAJOR COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

(52 credits)

DAS 103 Dental Materials (3 credits)
DAS 108 Practice Management (1 credit)
DHY 100 Introduction to Clinical Dental Hygiene (4 credits)
DHY 101 Dental Head and Neck Anatomy (3 credits)
DHY 102 Dental Radiology (3 credits)
DHY 103 Clinical Dental Hygiene I (3 credits)
DHY 104 Clinical Services I (3 credits)
DHY 106 Nutrition (2 credits)
DHY 107 Oral Embryology and Histology (2 credits)
DHY 110 Medical Emergencies (1 credit)
DHY 112 Introduction to the Dental Professions (4 credits)
DHY 113 Dental Health Education I (1 credit)
DHY 200 Oral Pathology (2 credits)
DHY 201 Periodontology I (2 credits)
DHY 202 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (2 credits)
DHY 203 Clinical Services II (3 credits)
DHY 204 Dental Health Education/Community Dental Health (2 credits)
DHY 205 Dental Specialties I (1 credit)
DHY 207 Clinical Services III (3 credits)
DHY 209 Pharmacology and Oral Medicine (1 credit)
DHY 210 Dental Specialties II (1 credit)
DHY 211 Periodontology II (2 credits)
DHY 213 Capstone Seminar (2 credits)
DHY 215 Pain and Control (1 credit)

 

ADDITIONAL COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

(15 credits)

BIO 121 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
BIO 122 Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)
BIO 211 Microbiology (4 credits)
ENG 109 Effective Speech (3 credits)

Notes:
(1) All DHY (Dental Hygiene) courses are offered through Rutgers-School of Health-Related Professions.
(2) A minimum grade of “C” is required in all core dental courses (Major Course Requirements); i.e., the minimum passing grade for all courses is “C.” If you earn a grade below “C”, you need to repeat that course. A failed course may only be repeated once.
(3) Transfer students must complete a minimum of 15 credits at ECC.

Total Credits Required for Degree: 87

RECOMMENDED SEQUENCE OF COURSES:

Note: See a program advisor for recommended sequence of general education requirements.

Prerequisites
BIO 121 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
BIO 122 Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)
BIO 211 Microbiology (4 credits)
CHM 101 College Chemistry I (4 credits)
ENG 101 College Composition I (3 credits)
PSY 101 General Psychology I (3 credits)

Spring Semester
DHY 100 Introduction to Clinical Dental Hygiene (4 credits)
DHY 101 Dental Head and Neck Anatomy (3 credits)
DHY 112 Introduction to the Dental Professions (4 credits)
DAS 103 Dental Materials (3 credits)
DHY 110 Medical Emergencies (1 credit)

Fall Semester
DHY 113 Dental Health Education I (1 credit)
DHY 102 Dental Radiology (3 credits)
DHY 103 Clinical Dental Hygiene I (3 credits)
DHY 104 Clinical Services I (3 credits)
DHY 107 Oral Embryology and Histology (2 credits)

Spring Semester
DHY 106 Nutrition (2 credits)
DHY 200 Oral Pathology (2 credits)
DHY 204 Dental Health Education/Community Dental Health (2 credits)
DHY 209 Pharmacology and Oral Medicine (1 credit)
DHY 201 Periodontology I (2 credits)
DHY 202 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (2 credits)
DHY 203 Clinical Services II (3 credits)
DHY 205 Dental Specialties (1 credit)

Fall Semester
DAS 108 Practice Management (1 credit)
DHY 213 Capstone Seminar (2 credits)
DHY 211 Periodontology II (2 credits)
DHY 207 Clinical Services III (3 credits)
DHY 210 Dental Specialties II (1 credit)
DHY 215 Pain and Control (1 credit)

 

NOTES:
(1) The two General Education Integrated Course Goals, Ethical Reasoning & Action and Information Literacy, are both addressed by the required curriculum described above.
(2) This plan assumes the completion of all required developmental courses in reading, writing, and mathematics as well as other pre- and co-requisites for some of the courses, as listed in the Course Descriptions section.