Dental Hygiene

Center for Health Sciences at Lowry

Dental Hygiene

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in dental hygiene prepares you to practice as a professional dental hygienist following successful completion of 28 credit hours of pre-professional prerequisites and 65-credit hours of professional study. After successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the written national board dental hygiene exam and regional/state clinical board exams. These exams are necessary to become a licensed, registered dental hygienist. Successful completion of the prerequisite courses and the full dental hygiene curriculum results in an A.A.S. in dental hygiene.

Dental hygienists are licensed preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services in dentistry. Dental hygienists perform procedures such as oral prophylaxis, application of preventive agents, exposure of dental radiographs, patient education and nutritional counseling. Career opportunities for hygienists are available in a variety of settings including private dental practices, community dental health clinics, public schools, clinical and basic science research laboratories, state and federal health facilities, and management positions.

Dental hygiene applications are available July 1st and must be submitted online no later than December 1st of each year to be considered for admission into the class beginning fall of the next academic year. Admission into the program is based upon a 100-point system, which consists of the following criteria:

  • required dental hygiene prerequisites, which must consist of a minimum science GPA of a 3.0 (25 points) and a minimum general education GPA of a 2.5 (15 points),
  • performance on the Health Occupational Aptitude Exam (15 points),
  • letters of recommendation (5 points),
  • hygienist observations (6 points),
  • dental experience (4 points - In order to obtain 4 points, students must provide a copy of a dental assisting certificate or be employed more than 6 months at a dental office. Dental experience is not required.),
  • interview with the application committee (25 points), and
  • proof of Colorado residency (5 points).

Because of the competitive admissions process, all prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade. Once accepted into the program, all grading is conducted on a 7-point grade scale. A student cannot earn lower than a C in any Dental Hygiene course in order to progress to the next level or graduate.

All Dental Hygiene students should enter the program with basic computer skills to include, but not limited to, word processing, the creation of PowerPoint presentations, email, and use of D2L. You must have access to a computer as most of the faculty utilize email and D2L for communication.

To find out more information about the dental hygiene program and application process, visit

Dental Hygiene Prerequisites

  1. Dental hygiene science prerequisites must show a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and be current to within seven years of the date the program begins. (Grades for like course(s) taken within two years will be averaged.)
  2. Dental hygiene education general prerequisites must show a cumulative GPA of 2.5. (Grades for like course(s) taken within two years will be averaged.)
  3. Overall cumulative GPA (combination of general and science dental hygiene prerequisites) must not be lower than 2.8.
  4. A college-level equivalent math course will be required: either MAT 120, MAT 121, MAT 135, or an Accuplacer score of 70+.


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredits
ENG 121 English Composition I: GT-CO1 2 3
PSY 101 General Psychology I: GT-SS3 3 3
Second Semester
BIO 201 Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab I: GT-SC1 4
BIO 204 Microbiology with Lab: GT-SC1 4 4
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology I: GT-SS3 5 3
Third Semester
BIO 202 Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab: GT-SC1 4
CHE 109 General, Organic, and Biochemistry 4
COM 115 Public Speaking 6 3
 Total Credits28


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredits
DEH 100 Dental Hygiene Basics and Terminology 1
Second Semester
DEH 101 Preclinical Dental Hygiene Lecture 2
DEH 102 Preclinical Dental Hygiene Care 3
DEH 103 Dental Anatomy and Histology 3
DEH 104 Dental Radiology 3
DEH 111 Dental and Medical Emergencies 2
DEH 116 Preventive Dentistry and Special Needs Patients 2
DEH 123 Head & Neck Anatomy 1
Third Semester
DEH 122 Periodontics I 2
DEH 126 Dental Materials 2
DEH 132 Applied Pharmacology 2
DEH 153 Clinical Theory of Dental Hygiene I 2
DEH 170 Clinical Practice of Dental Hygiene I 4
DEH 213 General and Oral Pathology 3
Fourth Semester
DEH 133 Local Anesthesia 2
DEH 138 Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation 1
DEH 150 Dental Lasers: Theory and Practice 1
DEH 171 Clinical Practice of Dental Hygiene I-A 2
Fifth Semester
DEH 202 Applied Nutrition in Dentistry 2
DEH 204 Community Dental Health I 2
DEH 242 Periodontics II 2
DEH 268 Clinical Theory of Dental Hygiene II 2
DEH 270 Clinical Practice of Dental Hygiene II 6
Sixth Semester
DEH 221 Ethics and Practice Management 2
DEH 225 Community Dental Health II 1
DEH 271 Clinical Practice of Dental Hygiene III 7
DEH 282 Periodontics III 1
DEH 285 Clinical Theory of Dental Hygiene III 2
National Boards Review(Optional)  
 Total Credits65



The DEH 100 course is taken after acceptance into the program the summer prior to the first semester.


ENG 122 can be substituted.


PSY 102, PSY 226, PSY 235, or PSY 240 can be substituted if already completed prior to admission.


BIO 208 can be substituted if already taken prior to admission.


SOC 102, SOC 218, or ANT 101 can be substituted if already taken prior to admission.


 COM 125 or COM 126 can be substituted if already taken prior to admission.

Center for Health Sciences

Dental Hygiene

Offered completely online, the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree in dental hygiene is a degree-completion program. The program is designed to allow registered dental hygienists (RDH) an avenue to advance their dental hygiene education and increase their employment options. The RDH to B.A.S program will expand career options for individuals currently holding a certificate or associate degree in dental hygiene. The program offers flexibility in scheduling and the ability to continue working while advancing your education and ultimately your career opportunities.

Admission to the B.A.S. program requires an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), or certificate in dental hygiene from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited dental hygiene program from which Community College of Denver (CCD) will accept transfer credits.** Candidates for the B.A.S. degree program will decide where they would like to place the emphasis of their coursework. Candidates can choose either public health or clinical teaching/education. Regardless of the path chosen, the coursework and internship experiences will facilitate the development of skills in administration, planning, leadership and research.

**CCD will accept transfer credit from post-secondary institutions accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations. Credits earned at nationally accredited or unaccredited institutions may be transferable to CCD on a case-by-case basis.

Dental hygienists who have earned a B.A.S. in dental hygiene may be employed in a variety of settings beyond the traditional private practice dental setting. Career opportunities are expanded and can include community dental health clinics, public schools, clinical and basic science research laboratories, state and federal health facilities, office management, dental hygiene education, sales and marketing representatives, and entrepreneurial ventures.

Bachelor degree trained dental hygienists can develop program plans for public health institutions and organizations, participate in research, educate entry-level dental hygiene students and community groups, be employed within dental sales, medical sales, marketing organizations and consulting firms. Dental hygienists with an entrepreneurial spirit can develop their own unique niche to support dentistry and dental hygiene through continuing education, practice management and publications.

Applications for the B.A.S. in dental hygiene program are available beginning February 1st. There is one application cycle per year. A maximum of 25 individuals who meet the following criteria will be accepted into the B.A.S. program. Applications will close once 25 students have been accepted into the program. 

  • Satisfactory completion of all CCD general admissions criteria and admittance to CCD.
  • Completion of a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited A.A., A.A.S., or certificate in dental hygiene, including 90 credit hours that can be accepted into Community College of Denver for transfer credit.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in all transferring dental hygiene degree coursework and dental hygiene prerequisite courses.
  • Dental hygiene licensure: You must have an active license to practice dental hygiene in at least one state within the United States.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Proof of Colorado residency or residency within a state under the WICHE Reciprocity Agreement.
  • Completion of a writing sample. Specific directions and criteria for the writing sample will be provided with the application materials.

BAS Degree Dental Hygiene Prerequisites

Before applying, you must meet the prerequisites for this program.

  • Graduation from a CODA Accredited Dental Hygiene Program.*
    • Unofficial transcripts from your A.A., A.A.S., or certificate dental hygiene program, including prerequisite dental hygiene coursework, must be submitted with your application for evaluation and review.
  • Satisfactory completion of all CCD general admissions criteria.
  • Current dental hygiene licensure to practice within the United States.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in all transferring dental hygiene degree coursework and dental hygiene prerequisite courses.
  • Basic computer skills are necessary, including proficiency in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word, communication via email, and use of the Internet.
  • Ready access to a computer with a stable Internet connection is mandatory as all coursework will be completed online.
  • Attend an orientation session on campus approximately one month prior to the start of the fall semester.


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredits
DEH 301 Advanced Careers in Dental Hygiene 3
DEH 302 Research Methodologies 3
DEH 341 Clinical Teaching Methodologies 3
DEH 476 Diversity & Cultural Rsrch I 1
DEH 355 Social Issues in Oral Health 3
Second Semester
DEH 411 Teaching Methodologies 4
DEH 482 Public Health Internship II  
DEH 387 Leadership & Administration 3
DEH 478 Diversity & Cultural Rsrch II 3
Third Semester
MAT 135 Intro to Statistics: GT-MA1 3
 Total Credits26

 AAS General Education Credits can be from the following prefixes:



Choose 15 credits from the following:

DEH 325 Advanced Concepts in Oral Health Promotion and Community Planning I

DEH 341 Clinical Teaching Methods

DEH 345 Advanced Dental Nutrition

DEH 387 Leadership and Administration

DEH 411 Teaching Methods

DEH 430 Oral Health Promotion II

DEH 476 Diversity & Cultural Research I

DEH 478 Diversity & Cultural Research II

DEH 481 Internship I

DEH 482 Internship II

DEH 489 Capstone: Dental Hygiene


Choose up to 5 credits from the following (General electives at the 100/200 level can be taken to supplement dental hygiene entry level education when credits are less than 65 credit hours.  These courses may not be substituted for 300/400 level coursework.)

ANT 101 Cultural Anthropology: GT-SS3

ASL 121 American Sign Language I

COM 126 Communication in Healthcare

SPA 115 Spanish for the Professional I


NOTE: A minimum of 24 credit hours must be taken at the 300/400 level from BAS dental hygiene courses. A minimum of 30 credit hours in residence at Community College of Denver is required to earn the Bachelor of Applied Science in dental hygiene.