What is a Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a skilled and essential member of the dental health care team in the delivery of preventive dentistry. The continuing demand for dental hygienists makes this program an opportunity for a productive career.
You may be employed in any of the following areas upon completion of a Dental Hygiene Associate of Applied Science degree:
- General Practice
- Periodontic Practice
- Independent Practice
Explore more through the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
NOTE: This profession is not the same as being a Dental Assistant.
Differences Between Dental Assistant and Dental Hygienist Training
Pikes Peak Community College has an excellent Dental Assisting program. However, our program does not provide a perfect transfer to a Dental Hygiene program. But many PPCC students do transfer to Dental Hygiene programs. General education requirements for Dental Hygiene are different and more extensive.
Dental Hygiene Program General Education Requirements
It is very important that you consult with your choice of Dental Hygiene programs to make the correct general education requirements. Dental Hygiene programs typically include the following requirements:
- BIO 201 (4) Human Anatomy and Physiology I (Pre-requisite: BIO 111)
- BIO 202 (4) Human Anatomy and Physiology II
- CHE 109 (4) for Colorado Dental Hygiene Programs. Other Chemistry courses may be required for programs in other states.
- Note: CHE 109 is not offered at PPCC at this time. To meet the course requirements of all Colorado Dental Hygiene programs, you could take that course at those colleges or take CHE 101 (5) and CHE 102 (5) at PPCC. See your Medical Sciences Program Advisor for further questions.
- BIO 204 (4) Microbiology
- COM 115 (3) Public Speaking
- ENG 121 (3) College Composition
- PSY 101 (3) General Psychology
- SOC 101 (3) Introduction to Sociology
Dental Hygiene Programs in Colorado
Dental Hygiene programs are competitive entry programs. Most have annual application dates and very specific course sequences. Be sure that you are taking the correct courses for your target program.
What to Do Now
- Review application requirements for the colleges in which you are interested.
- Make note of the application dates for each.
- Feel free to contact each college for specific questions.
- Seek PPCC advising as you take prerequisite courses and prepare to apply.