Dental Hygiene

The Dental Hygiene curriculum prepares individuals with the knowledge and skills to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate dental hygiene care for the individual and the community.

Students will learn to prepare the operatory, take patient histories, note abnormalities, plan care, teach oral hygiene instructions, clean teeth, take x-rays, apply preventive agents, complete necessary chart entries, and perform other procedures related to dental hygiene care.

Click here for a complete curriculum description and outline of required coursework.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to take national and state/regional examinations for licensure which are required to practice dental hygiene. Employment opportunities include dental offices, clinics, schools, public health agencies, industry, and professional education.

Program Overview

Length: 2-Year Associate in Applied Science Degree beginning in the Fall Semester
Application Period: June through mid-January. Check the program bulletin for specific dates.
Number of Students Accepted: 18
Estimated North Carolina Starting Salary: $48,900
Basic Requirements:

  • High School, GED, or Adult High School Graduation
  • Coastal Carolina Community College Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • Placement Test
  • Information Session
  • Prerequisites: Algebra and Chemistry

Tuition & Estimated Costs

Costs may vary slightly from year to year, but the average is listed below. Tuition is set by the NC Legislature and can change without notice. Each student will also be responsible for providing their transportation to the campus and to off-campus clinical rotation sites. Also, students will need to budget for miscellaneous expenses such as binders, paper, pens, pencils, etc. Students are encouraged to attend a board review session which is not included in the estimated expenses.

Tuition (5 semesters) $5,613
Scrubs, Lab Coats, Shoes $400
Liability Insurance ($16/year) $32
Books $1,350
Instruments $1,440
Dental Handpiece $660
Dental Hygiene Association Dues ($65/year) $130
Vaccines/Titers $1,010
Health Exams (Eye, Dental, Physical) $600
Dental Hygiene National Board & Review $860
CPR $120
Travel $200
State Board $1,450
Fetal monitor (if pregnant) $230
TOTAL $14,095


  1. Apply a professional code of ethics in all endeavors.
  2. Adhere to state and federal law, recommendations, and regulations in the provision of dental hygiene care.
  3. Provide dental hygiene care to promote patient/client health and wellness using critical thinking and problem solving in the provision of evidenced-based practice.
  4. Assume responsibility for dental hygiene actions and care based on accepted scientific theories and research as well as the accepted standard of care.
  5. Continuously perform self assessment for lifelong learning and professional growth.
  6. Advance the profession through service activities and affiliation with professional organizations.
  7. Provide quality assurance mechanism for health services.
  8. Communicate effectively with individuals and groups from diverse populations both verbally and in writing.
  9. Provide care to all clients, using individualized approach that is humane, empathetic, and caring.
  10. Provide dental hygiene care for the child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patient.
  11. Assess the treatment needs of patients with special needs.
  12. Provide dental hygiene care for all types of classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.
  13. Provide appropriate life support measures for medical emergencies that may be encountered in dental hygiene practice.
  14. Provide the dental hygiene process of care including assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation.
  15. Demonstrate competency in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating community-based oral health programs.