Dental Hygiene


Start your career in a dental office providing preventive oral care. Dental Hygiene graduates consistently perform at a high level on licensure exams, and they go on to practice as Registered Dental Hygienists.

The Dental Hygiene Associate Degree 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.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Completion of the five-semester Clinical Phase qualifies the student to take the Dental Hygiene National Board. Passing the Board 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.

Learning experiences for students in the Dental Hygiene Program are provided in classrooms and laboratories on the Airport Campus in the Academic Center. The students’ preclinical and clinical experiences are provided in our dental clinic on the third floor of the Academic Center. Additional required clinical externships are arranged through affiliations with local dentists and dental facilities.


The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program is to assist students in achieving their professional goals, to contribute to the quality of life in the community and to support the economic development of the central Midlands.

Special Requirements

Students are required to purchase and maintain a complete set of X-ray instruments, clinical instruments, laboratory coats, standard uniforms (including gloves and masks), shoes, name pin, clinical supplies, and magnification Loupes. Click here to see an estimated cost of attendance for these materials. 

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. 

Admissions Criteria

Students seeking admission to the college must be 18 years old or possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. All applicants are required to participate in placement testing (assessment) prior to being accepted by the college unless exempted by criteria stated in college procedures on assessment, admission and placement.

Enrollment in the Dental Hygiene Program is limited, meaning this program can only accept a number of students per year. This requires the Program to determine the most qualified candidates for admission into the Program. The admissions committee selects students based off of admissions criteria and points awarded through the candidate rating rubric. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to applying to the Program. The Program also requires an interview, eight (8) hours of observation, and four (4) hours of community service.

Students will be required to produce an acceptable background check and a drug screening prior to entering the Clinical Phase of the Dental Hygiene Program. These will be conducted through the company our School of Health Care currently uses; Wolfe One Inc.

MTC students who complete the Dental Hygiene Pre-requisite courses with a 2.5 GPA and “C” or above all courses may make application for the clinical portion of the program. Science and mathematics courses must be completed according to the timeframe established and published for the School of Health Care

  • Expiration Policy: Science and mathematics courses taken at MTC or other colleges must not be completed more than 3-5 years prior to entry into program as noted in the Health Sciences Policy.
  • Repeat Policy: Students may not repeat more than two different courses in the prerequisites stage, nor may they repeat any course more than once. Upon completion of all pre-requisite courses, the student is eligible to apply for the clinical phase of the Dental Hygiene Program. The clinical phase of the Dental Hygiene Program begins each Fall semester. Completion of the 5 clinical semesters in the clinical phase of the Dental Hygiene Program qualifies the student to take the Dental Hygiene National Board and clinical boards.
Program Progression

To pursue a successful career in dental hygiene, students must possess professional characteristics that allow them to provide patient care that is caring, safe and competent. In light of these goals, students in the Clinical Phase must receive a 75% or higher in all program courses and maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA.

In addition, students must meet all criteria for progression as written in each syllabus for all courses in the Clinical Phase. In the absence of unforeseen events, such as sudden severe illness or injury, failure to meet criteria in the specified time frame will result in dismissal from the program.

Due to the large number of applicants desiring entry into the program, students who are dismissed from the program may not reenter at a later date.

For more information, you can attend a LIVE Information Session via Zoom hosted by the Dental Hygiene Program Director by emailing: Savannah Fulton, . Information sessions occur on the 4th Tuesday of each month from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Program Type

Associate Degree

How to Enroll

To pursue this degree, you must apply to MTC using our online application.

Apply Now


Print Plan

Sample Program Plan and Costs

On-Campus Traditional. Classes meet on campus.
Virtual 100% online. Meets with a live instructor and classmates on specific days, at specific times. Uses web conferencing software, like Zoom.
Hybrid Some classes on campus. Some classes online or virtual.
Online 100% online. Due dates for projects and assignments. Self-paced work on your time.
Semester Course ID Course Title Classroom Online Hybrid Virtual Credits
Semester 1
(14 Credit Hours)
COL-106 Skills for College Success

Skills for College Success

ID: COL-106

Credit Hours: 1

This course is designed to enhance the skills of entering freshmen to facilitate their ability to succeed in the college environment. The course topics include student/instructor expectations, time management, library/computer orientation, listening/note-taking, studying for success, learning styles/personality types, and diversity and differences on campus.

MAT-155 Contemporary Mathematics

Contemporary Mathematics

ID: MAT-155

Credit Hours: 3

This course includes techniques and applications of the following topics: elementary number theory; algebra; geometry; measurement; graph sketching and interpretations; and descriptive statistics.

BIO-210 Anatomy and Physiology I

Anatomy and Physiology I

ID: BIO-210

Credit Hours: 4

This is the first in a sequence of courses, including an intensive coverage of the body as an integrated whole. All body systems are studied. Emphasis is placed on the manner in which systems interact to maintain homeostasis. The study includes general chemistry principles, biochemistry, cells and tissues and the following systems will be covered: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and special senses.

ENG-160 Technical Communications

Technical Communications

ID: ENG-160

Credit Hours: 3

This course is a study of various technical communications such as definitions, processes, instructions, descriptions, and technical reports.

PSY-201 General Psychology

General Psychology

ID: PSY-201

Credit Hours: 3

This course includes the following topics and concepts in the science of behavior: scientific method, biological bases for behavior, perception, motivation, learning memory, development, personality, abnormal behavior, therapeutic techniques, and social psychology.

Semester 2
(13 Credit Hours)
BIO-211 Anatomy and Physiology II

Anatomy and Physiology II

ID: BIO-211

Credit Hours: 4

This is a continuation of a sequence of courses, including intensive coverage of the body as an integrated whole. All body systems are studied. Emplasis is placed on the manner in which systems interact to maintain homeostasis. The following systems will be covered: endocrine, lymphatic, immune, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive.

PHI-115 Contemporary Moral Issues

Contemporary Moral Issues

ID: PHI-115

Credit Hours: 3

This course examines moral issues in contemporary society, including basic principles and applications of ethics.

BIO-115 Basic Microbiology

Basic Microbiology

ID: BIO-115

Credit Hours: 3

This is a general course in microbiology, including epidemiology, presence, control, and identification of microorganisms.

SOC-101 Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology

ID: SOC-101

Credit Hours: 3

This course emphasizes the fundamental concepts and principles of sociology, including culture, socialization, interaction, social groups and stratification, effects of population growth, and technology in society and social institutions.

Semester 3
(4 Credit Hours)
CHM-105 General Organic and Biochemistry

General Organic and Biochemistry

ID: CHM-105

Credit Hours: 4

This course is a study of the fundamental principles of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, common substances and reactions, introduction to organic chemistry and biochemistry.

Semester 4
(12 Credit Hours)
DHG-151 Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

ID: DHG-151

Credit Hours: 5

This course is a study of the principles of infection control and hazardous waste communication; instrumentation, instrument design; operator and patient positioning;, operation of basic dental equipment; patient evaluation and medical history review.

DHG-125 Tooth Morphology and Histology

Tooth Morphology and Histology

ID: DHG-125

Credit Hours: 2

This course covers the embryogenesis and histology of the head and neck structures with primary emphasis on the oral cavity. The formation, eruption patterns, and morphology of primary and permanent dentitions are studied.

AHS-113 Head and Neck Anatomy

Head and Neck Anatomy

ID: AHS-113

Credit Hours: 1

This course provides a detailed study of the structure of the head and neck with special emphasis on structure as it pertains to the study of dental science.

DHG-239 Dental Assisting for DHG's

Dental Assisting for DHG's

ID: DHG-239

Credit Hours: 2

This course introduces the dental assisting role and responsibilities. Emphasis is on four-handed dentistry, the use and manipulations of dental materials, and office management.

DHG-115 Medical and Dental Emergencies

Medical and Dental Emergencies

ID: DHG-115

Credit Hours: 2

This course provides a study of the various medical/dental emergencies and appropriate treatment measures. Additionally, it includes managing medically compromised dental patients, and provides for CPR certification.

Semester 5
(12 Credit Hours)
DHG-161 Clinical DHG I Foundations

Clinical DHG I Foundations

ID: DHG-161

Credit Hours: 4

This course completes the basic instrumentation instruction; introduces polishing and anticaries therapies; presents periodontal health assessment and introduces the clinical setting for application of dental hygiene skills for patient care.

DHG-121 Dental Radiography

Dental Radiography

ID: DHG-121

Credit Hours: 3

This course provides the application of the principles of radiology with emphasis on exposing, processing, mounting, evaluating, and interpreting dental radiographs. Radiation safety is stressed.

DHG-141 Periodontology


ID: DHG-141

Credit Hours: 2

This course presents a study of the principles, etiologies, classifications and treatments of periodontal disease with emphasis on the role of the dental hygienist.

DHG-241 Integrated Dental Hygiene I

Integrated Dental Hygiene I

ID: DHG-241

Credit Hours: 1

This course provides for the integration of the basic and dental hygiene sciences with current concepts of clinical dental hygiene practice. Client case studies will be used to enhance clinical decision making skills.

DHG-143 Dental Pharmacology

Dental Pharmacology

ID: DHG-143

Credit Hours: 2

This course provides a study of drugs used in dentistry. Emphasis is placed on the physical and chemical properties of the drugs, dosages and therapeutic effects, methods of administration, and indications/contraindications for the use of the drug. A study of dental anesthetics is included.

Semester 6
(8 Credit Hours)
DHG-175 Clinical Dental Hygiene II

Clinical Dental Hygiene II

ID: DHG-175

Credit Hours: 5

This course provides for the continued development of the skills necessary to perform dental hygiene care. Emphasis is placed on total patient care and treatment planning. Introduction to dental hygiene supportive functions is presented.

DHG-230 Public Health Dentistry

Public Health Dentistry

ID: DHG-230

Credit Hours: 3

This course provides a study of oral health and the prevention of oral disease in a community. Emphasis is on assessment of community groups and dental health needs, planning, implementation, and evaluation of community programs.

Semester 7
(9 Credit Hours)
DHG-255 Clinical Dental Hygiene III

Clinical Dental Hygiene III

ID: DHG-255

Credit Hours: 5

This course provides for the development of proficiency in the clinical dental hygiene setting with emphasis on the implementation of treatment plans to meet the individual patient's oral health needs. Also included in this course are concepts and experiences with geriatic patients, introduction to recent technological advances for periodontal debridement, and pain control for dental hygiene procedures via infiltration anesthesia and nitrousoxide sedation monitoring.

DHG-140 General and Oral Pathology

General and Oral Pathology

ID: DHG-140

Credit Hours: 2

This course provides a correlation of basic pathologic principles to disease processes in the oral cavity. The role of the dental hygienist in early disease detection is emphasized. Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of diseases affecting the head and neck are discussed.

DHG-243 Nutrition and Dental Health

Nutrition and Dental Health

ID: DHG-243

Credit Hours: 2

This course provides a study of nutrients, their nature, source and utilization. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between diet and oral health. Oral manifestations of nutritional deficiencies are also studied.

Semester 8
(6 Credit Hours)
DHG-265 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV

Clinical Dental Hygiene IV

ID: DHG-265

Credit Hours: 5

This course permits refinement of clinical techniques and skills, technology and current procedural practices of the dental hygienist with emphasis on self-evaluation and quality assurance. Dental ethics and jurisprudence are addressed in this course.

DHG-242 Integrated Dental Hygiene II

Integrated Dental Hygiene II

ID: DHG-242

Credit Hours: 1

This course provides for the integration of the basic and dental sciences with current dental hygiene concepts. Emphasis is placed on ethical/legal aspects of dental hygiene practice and practice management techniques. Topics dealing with evidence based practices, dental hygiene research, and transition to non- academic clinical settings will be studied.

  Total Credit Hours 78
  Estimated Cost
Financial Aid
Not including fees and equipment


Dental Clinician

Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and document treatment for the prevention, intervention, and control of oral diseases while practicing in collaboration with other health professionals.

Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Private Dental Practices


Corporate Dental Clinician

Corporate dental hygienists are employed by companies that support the oral health industry through the sale of products and services. Leaders throughout the dental industry often employ dental hygienists due to their clinical experience and understanding of the dental practice.

Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Dental Product Manufacturing Corporations


Public Health Dental Clinician

Community Health programs are typically funded by government or nonprofit organizations. These positions often offer an opportunity to provide care to those who otherwise would not have access to dental care.

Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Public Health Agencies


Dental Hygiene Educators

Dental Hygiene educators are in great demand. Colleges and universities throughout the U.S. require dental hygiene instructors who use educational theory and methodology to educate competent oral health care professionals. Corporations also employ educators who provide continuing education to licensed dental hygienists.

Projected Job Growth


Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Educational Institutions

What’s next after I complete this program?


Many graduates work in private practice positions as employees of dentists. There are also opportunities in public health settings, hospital dental practices, prison dental clinics, and dental hygiene education. Related career roles include dental product sales representatives, infection control consultants for private dental offices, and dental hygiene educators.

Want more information?

Academic programs count as academic credit for a certificate, diploma or degree and may transfer toward future academic endeavors at four-year colleges and universities.
Training programs can be completed in a matter of weeks or months, are focused on career training, and provide credentials and certificates needed in the specific fields of study. Coursework does not transfer.
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