Our Dental Hygienists are highly trained for the rewarding field of dental care. Interested? Come and inquire about it!
Associate of Applied Science Degree
A dental hygienist is a vital member of a team of dental professionals dedicated to improving oral health and supporting the general health of individuals and groups. As licensed professionals, dental hygienists provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services and may be involved in research, administration, client/patient advocacy, marketing or consulting. Dental hygienists may practice in a variety of settings such as private dental offices, public health facilities, schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. They may also work in correctional facilities, business and industry and other settings.
Dental hygienists in a clinical setting perform oral and general health assessments such as medical history, vital signs, oral cancer screening, dental charting, examination of the gums and supporting structures of teeth. They provide oral health instruction, counseling regarding nutrition and healthy lifestyle and their impact on oral and general health. Dental hygienists take and interpret radiographs and provide many types of preventive services such as removing deposits from teeth, applying fluoride, placing sealants and more. Infection control and emergency management are also important functions. In New Mexico and other states, dental hygienists may be certified to provide local anesthesia.
Dental hygienists enjoy working with people, have good manual dexterity and enjoy working with their hands. They possess the maturity and critical thinking skills to provide current, quality, professional care. They have strong interpersonal skills to motivate and educate patients of all ages. Dental hygienists are lifelong learners and are dedicated to continuing education, enhancing the profession and practicing ethical decision-making and behavior. Dental hygienists are generally well paid and are highly thought of as professionals in their communities. The profession is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country and according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm), it is expected to grow by 33% through 2022.
The number of people seeking preventive dental hygiene care, the expansion of an older population who retain their teeth, and a trend in group practices that stress the effective and productive use of office personnel, will provide increasing opportunities for employment. Graduation from this program qualifies students to take national and state examinations to become a licensed dental hygienist anywhere in the United States and there are international employment opportunities for dental hygienists educated in the U.S.
Students wishing to pursue a Bachelor’s degree should consult with an advisor regarding transferability of courses in the prerequisite list as well as the dental hygiene curriculum.
Required Skills and Abilities
Students will need to demonstrate good oral expression (speech clarity) and written comprehension in English, critical thinking skills, near vision, and physical stamina (e.g., the ability to sit for long periods of time), as well as the ability to manipulate dental/medical equipment, move/lift patients and equipment up to 50 pounds without assistance, and perform patient care procedures with manual dexterity.
Program Admission Special Requirements
This is a limited entry program. Successful candidates generally have a GPA of 3.0 of higher. Student-faculty ratio in the clinical setting is 1-to-5 thus allowing for individualized instruction.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications are accepted from February 1, 2018 - April 2, 2018 at 5pm.
- To download our application packet, please click on Degree Plan located on the upper right hand side.
- The application packet is titled Dental Hygiene Information Packet.
- All submitted transcripts must be original. We require transcripts from all colleges attended.
- Applications can be delivered in person at 3400 South Espina Street, Alex Sanchez Building Room 80 or mailed to the program as instructed in the application packet.
- Applications received or postmarked later than April 2 will be considered late. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered.
For more information, call 575-528-7019