Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

COM's Dental Hygiene Program was designed to educate future dental hygienists to address the oral health needs of our diverse community.

Dental hygienists are the preventative specialists of the dental field. They examine patients for signs of oral diseases, such as gingivitis, and provide patient care, including taking x-rays, scaling and oral hygiene instruction.

Qualities of individuals who seek to enter the field of dental hygiene typically include having a caring nature, wanting to help others, and working collaboratively to improve the oral and overall health of the patients they serve. Skills utilized daily by dental hygienists include manual dexterity, detailed assessment, interpersonal communication and critical thinking.

Program Details

Next Start Date

Fall 2024

Learning Format

Face to Face

Program Length

5 semesters

Degree Plan

View in brochure

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Career Insights

Occupational summary for Dental Hygiene

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220 Annual Job Openings in
Gulf Coast Region
(2026)

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9% Projected Growth
(2021-2031)

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$79,690 yr Median Salary / $37.12 hr

Source: BLS.gov

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Additional Program Info

Important Dates

Application for the 2024 cohort will open 04/15/2024 and close on 05/17/2024.

The program courses will begin in fall 2024.

Information Sessions

All students interested in the COM Dental Hygiene Program are encouraged to attend an information session. Applicants must attend an information session in order to complete a program application (completion code will be provided).

Topics include program format, costs, deadlines and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Click the RSVP button to register for a session.

All sessions will run approximately 1 hour.

  • 03/20/24, 5pm (Virtual)
  • 04/16/24, 5pm, STEAM 120
  • 05/09/2024, 5pm (Virtual)
Program Requirements

Program Outcomes

At the conclusions of the Dental Hygiene Program, the competent hygienist will:

  • Be prepared to take the National Board of Dental Hygiene Examiners
    written examination, the ADEX (CDCA-WREB-CITA) OR Central
    Regional Dental Testing Service clinical examination and the Texas
    Jurisprudence Assessment for Registered Dental Hygienists.
  • Assimilate academically acquired knowledge into identification of specific
    needs for a diverse population of patients.
  • Analyze, summarize, and provide competent frameworks for the dental
    hygiene process of care to patients of diverse needs, ages, and periodontal
    classifications.
  • Educate others utilizing the model of assessing, planning, implementation,
    and evaluation of oral health promotion through individual patient care
    and professional sensitivity to the ethical practice principles of autonomy,
    beneficence and nonmaleficence.
  • Exemplify the professionalism, integrity, and ethics worthy of the
    profession of dental hygiene.
  • Appraise the ever-changing industry of dentistry and apply the principles
    of life-long learning to be an integral member of the allied healthcare
    team.

Curricular Content & Transferability of Courses

The Associates of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene requires completion of 9 general education courses (includes 5 pre-requisite courses) and 18 dental hygiene specific courses. The details on the degree plan, course content and transferability are included in the DH Program Application Packet 2024.

Infectious Disease Policy

Individuals who are involved in the provision of dental hygiene services may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens that may result in human disease. COM strictly follows the protocols for prevention and management of exposure to infectious diseases as provided by the CDC and OSHA. Students and faculty members who experience exposure to potentially infectious materials (needle stick, mucous membrane, or non-intact skin) or airborne inhalation require specific follow-up. For more information on the policies on bloodborne and infectious diseases, refer to the current COM Dental Hygiene Student Handbook.

Steps to Admission

The program uses a selective application process. The application requirements are detailed in the DH Program Application Packet 2024.

In order to apply for the Dental Hygiene program at COM, you must first establish yourself as a student at COM. Here are the steps for admission into the college:

  • Apply to COM: Student can apply for free online either at www.com.edu/apply or through ApplyTexas at www.applytexas.org.
  • Transcripts: All official transcripts must be sent to COM admissions department.
  • Vaccinations: Students are required to complete a series of vaccinations and provide proof when applying to the program. For students under the age of 22, they will need to be vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis.
  • Advising: Students are recommended to meet with a health sciences advisor to review the program requirements and ensure eligibility.
  • Dental hygiene application: Students will need to apply specifically to the program through the application link on the Dental Hygiene homepage on COM’s website.
Accreditation

All dental hygiene programs in the United States must be accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA CODA).

The program is currently undergoing review for initial accreditation status. ADA CODA will visit COM’s Dental Hygiene Program in April 2024 to determine accreditation status.

All offers of program placement will be contingent on receiving accreditation in Summer 2024.

Third Party Comments (Posted 12-12-2023)

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