Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists are important members of the dental health care team who are licensed to work with dentists in the delivery of dental care. Hygienists combine knowledge and clinical skills to plan and provide dental hygiene care for patients. They use interpersonal skills to motivate and instruct individual patients and community groups on methods to prevent oral disease and to maintain oral health.

The profession welcomes men and women of all ages and offers career opportunities with excellent income and scheduling flexibility. While most dental hygienists work in general or specialty dental offices and clinics, alternative opportunities include public health departments, nursing homes, school systems, private industry, academic institutions and dental sales manufacturers.

Stark State’s program consists of one semester of eligibility (pre-application) courses and four semesters plus one summer session of academic coursework and hands-on learning experiences in the classroom, laboratory, clinic and community. An important feature of the program is the on-campus Dental Hygiene Clinic which is open to the public. The hundreds of hours of supervised patient care experiences provide excellent skill and professional development training.

Enrollment in the program is limited. Admission is offered to eligible applicants on a space-available basis. The dental hygiene program requires a separate application; admission to Stark State does not automatically mean acceptance into the dental hygiene program. Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, described in program informational materials. Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate.
  • Complete SSC’s Compass Assessment Test and take any courses recommended as a result of the test.
  • Complete four eligibility (pre-application) courses – ENG124, PSY121, CHM121, BIO121 and their prerequisites according to the eligibility rules regarding minimum grade, age of course, and number of repeats/drops.
  • Achieve a GPA of at least a 2.75 for the four eligibility courses.
  • Maintain an overall college GPA of at least 2.00.
  • Score at the 60th percentile or above on the PAX test.
  • Complete the dental office observation experience requirement.
  • Complete specified supplemental requirements.

Specific physical requirements are necessary to perform dental hygiene functions. Details are provided in program information materials or may be obtained from the dean of student services.

The goal of Stark State’s program is to prepare students to demonstrate knowledge and competencies essential for the delivery of dental hygiene services and to enable them to assume the responsibilities for providing patient care. Graduates will understand the role of the dental hygienist and of other dental health team members; will be prepared to adapt to changing demands of the oral health care profession; and will seek opportunities for continuous professional development.

Graduates are eligible to take the Dental Hygiene National Board and Northeast Regional Board examinations, both of which are required for licensure in Ohio. Licensure is mandatory for employment in Ohio as a dental hygienist. Other states may have different licensing requirements.

According to Section 4715.21 of the Ohio Revised Code, applicants for licensure must submit to an FBI background check.

Dental hygiene applicants/students are responsible for informing the program director of any misdemeanor related to alcohol or drugs, or felony convictions so that they may be informed of the steps the Ohio State Dental Board will take before considering their application for licensure.

According to various sections of the Ohio Law and Regulations for Certification and Licensure Boards, persons convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor may not be able to take the licensure or certification examinations; may be refused acceptance of placement by the clinical/practicum sites; or may have restrictions placed on their ability to practice. For more information, contact the dean of student services and the applicable licensure/certification board.

Associate Degree Course Sequence

CHM121  
General, Organic & Biological
 
Chemistry I
BIO121  
Anatomy and Physiology I (lab)
PSY121  
General Psychology
ENG124  
College Composition
DHY121  
Head, Neck & Oral Anatomy
DHY122  
Oral Histology & Embryology
DHY123  
Dental Radiography
DHY131  
Fundamentals of Dental
 
Hygiene Practice
BIO122  
Anatomy and Physiology II (lab)
SSC101  
Student Success Seminar
DHY124  
Periodontics I
DHY125  
Dental Materials
DHY126  
Pathology
DHY132  
Dental Hygiene Theory I
DHY133  
Clinical Dental Hygiene I
BIO221  
Principles of Microbiology (lab)
DHY134  
Clinical Dental Hygiene IA
DHY221  
Nutrition in Dentistry
MTH124  
Statistics
SOC121  
Sociology
DHY222  
Dental Pharmacology
DHY223  
Community Oral Health
DHY225  
Anesthesia & Pain Control
DHY231  
Dental Hygiene Theory II
DHY232  
Clinical Dental Hygiene II
COM121  
Effective Speaking
DHY224  
Periodontics II
DHY233  
Dental Hygiene Theory III
DHY234  
Clinical Dental Hygiene III

TOTAL CREDITS 73

The dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body of the American Dental Association, recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653; at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611; www.ada.org/117.aspx.

The Stark State College Dental Hygiene Program has the following written articulation agreement for a bachelor in science degree completion program with: Ohio State University, Dental Hygiene Program, Section of Primary Care, College of Dentistry