(Students should initially enroll in Code 324)
Associate in Applied Arts and Science: Academic Department: Dental
The dental hygienist-the preventive specialist-fills a key position on the dental health team. Graduates of the associate degree curriculum may assume a variety of major roles in the prevention of dental disease.
Dental hygiene practice includes: obtaining clients' medical and dental histories, conducting extraoral and intraoral examinations, performing diagnostic procedures, providing complete oral prophylaxis (scaling and polishing teeth) and polishing restorations and placing pit and fissure sealants. The Michigan Dental Law has expanded dental hygiene care to include periodontal treatment.
GRCC's program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the U.S. Department of Education. Graduates will be eligible to take national and regional board examinations to qualify for licensure as Registered Dental Hygienists. Requirements for licensure as an RDH in the State of Michigan are stated in the Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978. The new applicant for licensure will be asked about felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions resulting in imprisonment, and convictions for possession of controlled substances (including those involving alcohol related to motor vehicle violations). Previous convictions may prevent the applicant from receiving a license.
Dental hygienists work in private and group dental practices, departments of public health, hospitals, schools, clinics, veterans' facilities and the armed forces. Job opportunities for trained dental hygienists are expected to be good in the years ahead.
The average time it takes to start the dental hygiene program AFTER making it on the ready/wait list is approximately two years.