Dental Hygienists are licensed primary health care professionals, health care educators and clinicians who provide preventive, educational and therapeutic services supporting total health for the control of oral diseases and the promotion of oral health. Employment opportunities exist in private practices, health care agencies, hospitals, sales, government research programs and in dental hygiene education programs. Upon successful completion of this curriculum, the graduate may take national and regional board examinations and apply for licensure.

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Learn more about related training programs.

Related Training and Credentials

Continuing Education Courses for the Dental and Health Care Professional

Program Admission Requirements

Application may be submitted after meeting requirements listed below. Health Careers Enrollment Center 216 987-4247 for comprehensive admissions information and application packet.

  • High School Diploma/GED
  • ENG-1010 College Composition I with “C” or higher.
  • BIO-1100 Introduction to Biological Chemistry with "C" or higher.
  • BIO-2331 Anatomy and Physiology I with "C" or higher.
  • PSY-1010 General Psychology with "C" or higher.
  • GPA required: 3.0 admission requirements, 2.5 overall
  • 20 hour observation/work experience. 16 hours in a dental setting that employs a Registered Dental Hygienist. 4 hours must be in the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Metropolitan Campus. Please call 216-987-4413 to schedule appointment. Please refer to the form in the application packet.

Other Information

  • 24 students accepted per year.
  • All science courses must have been completed within five (5) years of admission to the program.
  • ENG-1010 College Composition IENG-101H Honors College Composition IPSY-1010 General PsychologyPSY-101H Honors General Psychology  and one (1) science course may each be repeated once to improve a grade. A “W” grade counts as an attempt.
  • Successful completion of Tri-C authorized background check, fingerprinting and BCI records search is required. http://www.tri-c.edu/programs/health-careers/background-check-information-bci.html.
  • Overall GPA must not fall below 2.5 while awaiting matriculation into the Dental Hygiene program.
  • Non-native English speaking applicants: The Commission on Dental Accreditation and Cuyahoga Community College Dental Hygiene Program Competencies mandate that students be competent in interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse populations. The ability to communicate verbally and in written form is basic to the provision of oral health services in a safe and effective manner. Therefore, applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL. See http://www.toefl.orgApplicants must achieve the following minimum scores: Reading-21, Listening-21, Writing-23 and Speaking-25.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Act responsibly toward self, peers, faculty and clients.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking and decision-making skills in all aspects of client care.
  3. Communicate verbally and in writing to clients, colleagues and other professionals.
  4. Integrate the Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists with evidence of skills in ethical reasoning.
  5. Incorporate professional integrity and continued growth into all aspects of dental hygiene care.
  6. Determine the validity of oral health services in various segments of the community using evidence-based methods.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to promote oral health in the global community.
  8. Recognize the need and follow protocol indicated for medical emergencies that occur in an oral health care environment.
  9. Accurately collect, analyze and document current and historical data on the systemic/oral health status of a variety of clients that impacts the delivery of dental hygiene care.
  10. Utilize all the information gleaned through the assessment process and develop a comprehensive dental hygiene diagnosis incorporating current research.
  11. Devise a client-centered dental hygiene care plan that is evidence-based.
  12. Apply appropriate treatment modalities and communicate oral health education concepts that will culminate in achieving the dental hygiene care plan.
  13. In partnership with the client, determine if the implementation phase was effective in achieving the goals outlined in the comprehensive dental hygiene care plan and modify when indicated.
  14. In partnership with the client, ensure that documentation is complete and accurate of all collected data, treatment planned and provided, recommendations and other information relevant to client care and treatment.

 Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
Program Admissions Requirements SemesterCredit Hours
BIO-1100 Introduction to Biological Chemistry 1 3
BIO-2331 Anatomy and Physiology I 1 4
BIO-2341 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I  
Honors College Composition I  
Select one of the following: 3
General Psychology  
Honors General Psychology  
 Credit Hours17
First Semester
DENT-1300 Preventive Oral Health Services I 4
DENT-1311 Dental Anatomy, Histology & Embryology 2
DENT-1320 Dental Hygiene Fundamentals 1
DENT-1330 Radiology 3
DENT-1341 Foundational Principles of Dental Hygiene Practice 1
MATH-1240 Contemporary Mathematics 2 3
 Credit Hours14
Second Semester
BIO-2500 Microbiology 4
DENT-1400 Preventive Oral Health Services II 5
DENT-1410 Current Concepts in Dental Materials 2
DENT-1420 Periodontics I 2
DENT-1431 Head and Neck Anatomy 2
DENT-1440 General and Oral Pathology 2
 Credit Hours17
Third Semester
DENT-2200 Local Anesthesia and Pain Management 2
DENT-2300 Preventive Oral Health Services III 5
DENT-2321 Periodontics II 1
DENT-2332 Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2
DENT-2340 Community Oral Health I 1
DIET-1220 Nutrition for Dental Hygiene 3 2
Select one of the following: 3
Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication  
Fundamentals of Speech Communication  
Honors Fundamentals of Speech Communication  
 Credit Hours16
Fourth Semester
DENT-2400 Preventive Oral Health Services IV 5
DENT-2440 Community Oral Health II 1
DENT-2990 Dental Hygiene Practice 4 1
Select one of the following: 3
Introductory Sociology  
Honors Introductory Sociology  
 Credit Hours10
 Total Credit Hours74