Dental hygienists play an important role in today’s healthcare system through providing patients with preventive and therapeutic services to attain or maintain optimum oral health. In collaboration with dentists and various other health care providers, the dental hygienist is qualified by education and licensure to provide direct patient care in the private dental practice as well as in various public health settings.
The Dental Hygiene program at BridgeValley is designed to prepare students for a career in dental hygiene with concentration on educating students for clinical dental hygiene practice and transfer to baccalaureate studies.
BridgeValley’s Dental Hygiene program has been recognized for excellence in dental hygiene education since 1975. Graduates are skilled in clinical procedures as well as academic subjects related to the basic, social and dental hygiene sciences.
The Dental Hygiene program is a limited enrollment program which admits one class each fall semester. An admissions committee selects candidates upon the following published criteria.
- Applicants should review the Admissions FAQ sheet before proceeding. Admissions FAQs
- Applicants must complete an Application for Admission to BridgeValley if they are not currently a BridgeValley student.
- Applicants must complete and electonically submit the BridgeValley Dental Hygiene Program Application.
- Applicants complete 20 hours of dental hygiene shadowing and submit the Dental Hygiene Shadowing Instructions and Form.
- Applicants must scan and submit two letters of recommendation to the BridgeValley Dental Hygiene Department by emailing [email protected].
- Applicants must submit an official copy of previous college transcripts to the BridgeValley Admissions Office.
- The following prerequisites must be completed or in progress to be considered for admission to the Dental Hygiene program.
- BIOL 201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
- BIOL 202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
- CHEM 110 Fundamentals of Chemistry (no lab requirement)
- MATH 119 Foundations of Algebra
- ENGL 101 English Composition I
- ENGL 102 English Composition II
- COMM 100 Oral Communication
- PSYC 101 General Psychology
- SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology
- DENT 100 Introduction to Dental Hygiene
- GNST 115 College Success and Career Exploration in Health
Current students enrolled in BridgeValley Community and Technical College will be given first consideration for admission when having the same qualifications as an off-campus student.
Department policies related to bloodborne pathogens, radiation safety, HIPAA and Ethics are available for review at www.bridgevalley.edu/dental-hygiene-policies.
Dental Hygiene program application, recommendation letters and shadowing verification form are due by January 31st for first consideration for fall admission.
- Submit the completed BridgeValley Dental Hygiene Program Application for Admission online.
- The two letters of recommendation and shadowing verification form must be scanned and emailed to [email protected]
- Official transcripts must be sent to the BridgeValley Admissions Office
More About the Program
BridgeValley Dental Hygiene clinics and major courses are offered on the Montgomery campus.
The Dental Hygiene program is designed to prepare students for a career in dental hygiene with concentration on educating students for clinical dental hygiene practice and transer to baccalaureate studies. Faculty and students are committed to a culture of excellence in education, service and patient care while maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and teamwork. The program, accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, requires a minimum of one year of prerequisite coursework and two full academic years of Dental Hygiene major courses with 83/85 hours of credit course work including many hours of clinical practice.
Dental Hygiene Scope of Practice
A dental hygienist is a preventive oral health professional licensed to provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public.
The Dental Hygiene program is a limited enrollment program which admits one class each fall semester. An admissions committee selects candidates based upons published requirements. For specific information on program admission requirements and application deadlines please refer to the Admissions tab.
In addition to the learning outcomes set forth in the general education core curriculum for the associate degree, the mission of the dental program reflects the department goals to comprehensively:
- Provide a quality educational program meeting the standards of the Commission on Dental Accreditation and reflecting relevant and current dental hygiene practice to ensure competent individuals for licensure and clinical practice of dental hygiene
- Provide opportunities for quality patient care experiences in the dental hygiene clinic and off campus enrichment sites for diverse populations
- Encourage participation in community service and health promotion initiatives
- Provide an academic experience which allows students to pursue advanced degrees
- Promote an environment committed to professionalism, career development and lifelong learning
Dental Hygiene Policies
BridgeValley’s Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of "accreditation with no reporting requirements". The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education for dental hygiene education programs.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation may be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: https://www.ada.org/en/coda.
Program outcomes are assessed systematically and comprehensively by didactic course reviews, clinical performance evaluations, externally administered board examinations, advisorycommittee/employer feedback, patient surveys, student/graduate surveys and faculty evaluation.
Careers in Dental Hygiene
Dental hygienists may assume the roles of clinician, educator, researcher, administrator/manager and advocate. Dental hygienists are employed clinically in private dental practice, hospitals, clinics, institutions, public and private schools, and the armed forces. Dental hygienists are also employed as health educators in various public health settings.
All coursework completed in the Dental Hygiene program is delivered at a level recognized as transferable to baccaluarate studies. Baccalaureate options include:
- West Liberty State University - BSDH
- WVU School of Dentistry – Dental Hygiene Degree Completion
- Other online BS/BA options in dental hygiene, healthcare or related majors