(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.
How does a student get on the ready/wait list?
The Dental Hygiene Program takes a minimum of three years to complete. The first (Pre-dental hygiene) year consists of non-dental courses-science and general education.
To get on the ready/wait list a student must complete the following science courses with a C- grade or higher and successfully pass a criminal background check.
It is suggested a student complete the four science classes first, the remaining general education classes can be taken while a student waits to start the program.
- BI121-Human Anatomy and Physiology I
- BI121-Human Anatomy and Physiology II
- BI127-General Microbiology
- CHM 210-Inorganic, Organic, and Biochemistry
The average time it takes to start the dental hygiene program AFTER making it on the ready/wait list is approximately two years.
The dental hygiene program historically has about a two-year wait from the time the applicant completes the required four science courses (BI121, BI122, BI127, CHM210) to the time they actually begin dental hygiene courses. While students are "waiting" to enter the dental hygiene program, they can complete most of the general education courses.