Dental Hygiene

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene

Center for Health Sciences at Lowry

Dental Hygiene

This program prepares students to practice as professional dental hygienists following successful completion of 28 credit hours of pre-professional prerequisites and 65 credit hours of professional study. Successful completion of the prerequisite courses and the full Dental Hygiene curriculum results in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Dental Hygiene. After successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the written national board dental hygiene exam and regional/state clinical board exams. These exams are necessary to become licensed, registered Dental Hygienists.

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 and postmarked 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 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, creation of power point presentations, email, and use of D2L. Students 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 7 years of the date the program begins. (Grades for like course(s) taken within 2 years will be averaged.)
  2. Dental Hygiene General prerequisites must show a cumulative GPA of 2.5. (Grades for like course(s) taken within 2 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, or MAT 135. 
Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredits
ENG 121 English Composition I : GT-CO1 3
ENG 122 can be substituted
PSY 101 General Psychology I: GT-SS3 3
PSY 102, 226, 235,or 240 can be substituted
Second Semester
BIO 201 Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab I: GT-SC1 2 4
BIO 204 Microbiology with Lab: GT-SC1 4
BIO 208 can be substituted
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology I: GT-SS3 3
SOC 102, 218, or ANT 101 can be substituted
Third Semester
BIO 202 Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab: GT-SC1 4
CHE 109 General, Organic, and Biochemistry 4
COM 115 Public Speaking 3
COM 125 or 126 can be substituted
 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.


 BIO 111 General College Biology I with Lab: GT-SC1 is a prerequisite for this course.