Length: 2-Year Associate in Applied Science degree, beginning in the Fall semester
Application Period: September through December. Check the Dental Hygiene Bulletin for specific dates.
Number of Students Accepted: 18
Tuition & Estimated Costs
See the Dental Hygiene Bulletin for specific details.
- Costs may vary slightly from year to year. Tuition is set by the North Carolina 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.
Dental Hygiene Program Goals
- To provide a student-centered teaching environment that engages the students as active learners.
- To educate dental hygiene students in the ethical, legal, and competent practice of dental hygiene.
- To comprehensively prepare students with the knowledge and skills to assess, formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis, plan, implement, and evaluate dental hygiene care for the individual and the community.
- To prepare dental hygiene graduates who provide patient-centered, comprehensive, evidence-based dental hygiene care.
- To develop the interpersonal and patient centered skills to interact effectively with diverse populations.
- To promote professional growth, scientific inquiry, and an appreciation for lifelong learning.
- To educate students on current technologies and the skills necessary to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare system.
- To engage students in the promotion of dental health ideals through service to the community and involvement with professional organizations.
Dental Hygiene Program Competencies
- Apply a professional code of ethics in all endeavors.
- Adhere to state and federal law, recommendations, and regulations in the provision of dental hygiene care.
- Provide dental hygiene care to promote patient/client health and wellness using critical thinking and problem solving in the provision of evidenced-based practice.
- Assume responsibility for dental hygiene actions and care based on accepted scientific theories and research as well as the accepted standard of care.
- Continuously perform self-assessment for lifelong learning and professional growth.
- Advance the profession through service activities and affiliation with professional organizations.
- Provide quality assurance mechanism for health services.
- Communicate effectively with individuals and groups from diverse populations both verbally and in writing.
- Provide care to all clients, using individualized approach that is humane, empathetic and caring.
- Provide dental hygiene care for the child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patient.
- Assess the treatment needs of patients with special needs.
- Provide dental hygiene care for all types of classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.
- Provide appropriate life support measures for medical emergencies that may be encountered in dental hygiene practice.
- Provide the dental hygiene process of care including assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation.
- Demonstrate competency in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating community-based oral health programs.
In all states, Dental Hygienists must be licensed to practice. Specific Dental Hygiene licensure requirements vary from state to state. All states have three basic requirements: an educational requirement, a written examination requirement, and a clinical examination requirement.
North Carolina requires that a Hygienist must successfully complete an accredited Dental Hygiene program and receive a minimum of an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene. Also, licensees must pass the written National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the clinical Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc. (CITA) Examination.
During the final semester of their Dental Hygiene program, students take a computerized test known as the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE). The purpose of the NBDHE is to assist state boards in determining qualifications of Dental Hygienists who seek licensure to practice dental hygiene. The examination assesses the ability to understand important information from basic biomedical, dental, and dental hygiene sciences and also the ability to apply such information in a problem-solving context. A passing score on the DHNBE ensures that each applicant for licensure has achieved the level of knowledge, skill, and judgment necessary to practice in a safe and responsible manner.
Following graduation from an accredited Dental Hygiene program and receiving a passing score on the DHNBE, licensees must successfully complete the CITA – ADEX Dental Hygiene examination. The CITA – ADEX Dental Hygiene examination is based on specific performance criteria used to measure clinical competence. This examination consists of two components. These are a 100-question Computer Simulated Clinical Examination (CSCE), and a Patient Treatment Clinical Examination (PTCE), which is performed on patients. Each component requires a passing score of 75% of greater. Once candidates pass the CITA – ADEX exam, they have met the clinical examination requirement for licensure. Each individual state has additional requirements before issuing a Dental Hygiene license.
In North Carolina, candidates must also pass online examinations administered by the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners in two subject areas: infection control/sterilization and North Carolina jurisprudence. Once candidates pass these examinations, they may apply for a license to practice dental hygiene in North Carolina.
For more information concerning testing and licensure, please visit the following resources.
- American Dental Hygiene Association
- American Dental Association
- North Caroline Board of Dental Examiners
- Council of Interstate Testing Agencies