Dental Hygiene

Center for Health & Natural Sciences at Lowry
CCD.edu/Dental

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 64-credit hours of professional study. After successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE) 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 September 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 Occupations Aptitude Exam (15 points),
  • two 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 and/or be employed more than 6 months at a dental office as a dental assistant. 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 and be 100% complete by the end of the semester of application. 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 Windows or Mac computer with a web camera as most of the faculty utilize email and D2L for communication and coursework.

To find out more information about the dental hygiene program and application process, visit CCD.edu/Dental.

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+.

COURSE MAP

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredits
ENG 121 English Composition I: GT-CO1 3
PSY 101 General Psychology I: GT-SS3 3
 Subtotal6
Second Semester
BIO 201 Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab I: GT-SC1 4
BIO 204 Microbiology with Lab: GT-SC1 4
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology I: GT-SS3 3
 Subtotal11
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
 Subtotal11
 Total Credits28

Requirements  

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredits
DEH 105 Introduction to Dental Hygiene 1
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 2
DEH 111 Dental and Medical Emergencies 2
DEH 123 Head & Neck Anatomy 1
 Subtotal14
Second Semester
DEH 122 Periodontics I 2
DEH 126 Dental Materials 2
DEH 202 Applied Nutrition in Dentistry 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
 Subtotal15
Third 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
 Subtotal6
Fourth Semester
DEH 132 Applied Pharmacology 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
 Subtotal14
Fifth 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
DEH 289  
 Subtotal13
 Total Credits62

Center for Health Sciences & Natural Sciences at Lowry
CCD.edu/Dental-BAS

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.), Associate of Science (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 National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA).
  • 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.S., 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, Windows or Mac operating system, and webcam 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.

COURSE MAP

Eight Week: Summer Session- One Year Program Plan 

MAT 135Intro to Statistics: GT-MA13
DEH 347Dental Hygiene Business Administration3

First Eight Weeks: Fall Semester- One Year Program Plan

DEH 301Advanced Careers in Dental Hygiene3
DEH 302Research Methodologies3

Second Eight Weeks: Fall Semester- One Year Program Plan 

DEH 355Social Issues in Oral Health3
DEH 326Oral Health Promotion ,Advanced Concepts in Oral Health Promotion and Community Planning3

First Eight Weeks: Spring Semester- One Year Program 

DEH 4123
DEH 481Internship I 2
DEH 479Diversity and Cultural Competence Research: Relationship to the Delivery of Oral Health3

Second Eight Weeks: Spring Semester- One Year Program Plan

DEH 482Internship II2
DEH 387Leadership & Administration3

One Year Program* 

*The program can be extended to two years using the following recommended program plan:

Year One: Required DEH 301, DEH 302, DEH 355; Elective: DEH 479 and/or DEH 387 

Summer: Required: MAT; Elective- DEH 347

Year Two: Required: DEH 326, DEH 412 and DEH 482

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS COMPLETED FOR THE DEGREE: 120 credits as per state regulation.

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.