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School of health services
Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene building

The AAS Dental Hygiene program is located in the Dental Hygiene Facility building on the main campus was established and admitted the first class in 1999.  The program was last accredited in April of 2014 with no reporting.  The next accreditation will be in 2021. The Commission on Dental Accreditation is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.  The commission can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

What is a dental hygienist?
A dental hygienist’s primary functions focus on dental disease prevention and oral health maintenance. In NC, these functions are performed under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. The clinical dental hygienist collaborates with the dentist in an effort to provide services to the patient that will guide the patient towards optimal oral health.

What employment opportunities are available?
Dental hygienists provide oral health services in a variety of work environments. These include, but are not limited to, private dental offices, hospitals, health departments, government clinics, and correctional facilities. Approximate salary is $30 - $40 per hour, depending on location, benefits and experience. 

What is the class schedule/length for the Dental Hygiene program?
The dental hygiene core courses are offered only during the day on a full-time basis. The DH program consists of seven semesters, which requires two years to complete. Graduates of the program are eligible, with the approval of the Dental Hygiene Program Director, to apply to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the Council on Interstate Testing examination, as well as many other state or regional Dental Hygiene Board Examinations.
Please Note: Graduates applying for licensure in NC will be required to undergo a criminal records check and fingerprinting as part of the application process.

The Dental Hygiene program begins in the Fall Semester. Admission to the program is based upon completion of all minimum requirements as listed on the attached “Minimum Requirements” sheet by March 15 of the admissions year, and the competitive selection process. To begin the admission process, attend a Starting Points Information Session, complete the admission file (see #1 on MARs page in the Dental Hygiene Admission Packet), and meet with an admission staff member in Student Services.

College tuition is set by the North Carolina State Legislature and is subject to change. Dental Hygiene students are required to purchase a variety of books, instruments, class uniforms, malpractice insurance, accident insurance, and other fees as set by the College. The approximate cost for in-state tuition and associated college fees for the Dental Hygiene program is $4,000.  In addition, the approximate cost for books, uniforms, instruments, infection control items, student ADHA dues, and national and local testing for licensure is approximately $5,600.  Costs are subject to change.

Financial Aid:
All applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid. To determine eligibility, an applicant must first complete the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. This application is available in Student Services. For additional information on Financial Aid, contact the Financial Aid Office at 828/327-7000, extensions 4214 or 4450.

» Suggested Program Sequence (PDF)

2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 01.12.2016: Admissions Student Services