Admission requirements for the Dental Hygiene Phase II requires the completion of the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate with at least a 2.5 GPA. This completion qualifies the student to submit an application for an interview with the Dental Hygiene program for Phase II entry. Click here for Application for Associates in Dental Hygiene Program.
The Dental Hygiene clinical portion is designed to prepare dental hygienists to provide preventive and therapeutic oral hygiene health measures in dental settings. Phase II includes instruction in principles of preventive oral care, including teaching patients self-care, examining patients’ head and neck areas for abnormal health status, nutritional counseling, smoking cessation, applying sealants to the grooves of patients’ teeth, producing diagnostically acceptable dental radiographs (x-rays), managing pain and anxiety, removing deposits from patients’ teeth with scaling procedures and managing health information.
Employment opportunities in South Carolina include private practice; i.e., as employees of dentists. There are also opportunities in community-based settings, hospital dental practices, prison dental clinics and dental hygiene education. Related career roles include dental products sales representatives, infection control consultants for private dental offices and dental hygiene educators. The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
Completion of the five clinical semesters in Phase II qualifies the student to take the Dental Hygiene National Board, the passing of which is a prerequisite for licensure by the South Carolina Board of Dentistry. Students must also pass a Clinical Dental Hygiene Examination administered by a board approved testing agency to gain licensure in South Carolina.
Students in Phase II must receive a "C" or better on all dental hygiene courses and maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students may not repeat a major course more than once, nor may they progress until that course has been passed. Students may not repeat more than two Phase II courses during their program matriculation.
A student may not be readmitted to the dental hygiene program more than once. Readmitted students will be expected to revalidate competencies prior to resuming participation in the program at the previous point of validated competence and may be required to comply with mutually agreed upon re-entry requirements.
Students are required to purchase and maintain a complete set of dental hygiene and x-ray instruments, clinical instruments, laboratory coats, stand uniforms (including gloves and masks), shoes, name pin and Loups at an approximate cost of $5,500.00.
Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in each clinical dental hygiene course to continue in the program the following semester. Students must pass a written competency examination prior to the third semester of Phase II. This competency exam tests students’ knowledge in all clinical and scientific subject matter presented during the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate and the first year in dental hygiene. All students will participate in a "Board Review" course prior to taking the Dental Hygiene National Board.
Primary clinical experience is gained in the on-campus dental clinic at the Airport Campus. Pre-clinical practice is performed on classmate patients. Students accepted into Phase II of the Dental Hygiene program will be expected to act as patients for classmates to practice all new skills, including infiltration anesthesia injections. Students may also rotate through local dental clinics, hospitals, private dental offices and nursing homes in the immediate area for practicum experiences in a variety of situations and age groups.
Students will be required to comply with regulations required in off-campus clinical sites, which might include finger printing, additional background checks and drug screening. Students will be required to produce an acceptable background check and a drug screening prior to entering Phase II of the Dental Hygiene program. Arrangements will be made by the Allied Dental Education Programs.
Students are encouraged to join their student professional organization and to participate in its scheduled activities, including attendance at the annual meeting. In addition, they are required to participate in scheduled activities such as visits to elementary schools for dental health education presentations and dental screenings.