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Dental Hygiene

Associate of Science

Dental Hygiene

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.  

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Application Process

How To Apply

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.

  1. Applicants should review the Admissions FAQ sheet before proceeding.  Admissions FAQs
  2. Applicants must complete an Application for Admission to BridgeValley if they are not currently a BridgeValley student.
  3. Applicants must complete and electonically submit the BridgeValley Dental Hygiene Program Application.  
  4. Applicants complete 20 hours of dental hygiene shadowing and submit the Dental Hygiene Shadowing Instructions and Form.
  5. Applicants must scan and submit two letters of recommendation to the BridgeValley Dental Hygiene Department by emailing [email protected]
  6. Applicants must submit an official copy of previous college transcripts to the BridgeValley Admissions Office. 
  7. 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
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What can I do with this degree?

More About the Program

 

BridgeValley Dental Hygiene clinics and major courses are offered on the Montgomery campus.

Description

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.

Limited Enrollment
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.

Program Goals
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

Accreditation Information

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.

Prerequisites

BIOL 201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I ..... 4 Credits

MATH 119 Foundations of Algebra ..... 4 Credits

ENGL 101 English Composition I ..... 3 Credits

SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology ..... 3 Credits

DENT 100 Intro to Dental Hygiene ..... 1 Credits

GNST 115 College Success and Career Exploration in Health ..... 1 Credits

Semester Total : 16

BIOL 202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II ..... 4 Credits

ENGL 102 English Composition II ..... 3 Credits

COMM 100 Oral Communication ..... 3 Credits

PSYC 101 General Psychology ..... 3 Credits

CHEM 110 Fundamentals of Chemistry ..... 3 Credits

Semester Total : 16

Major Courses (Limited Admission)

DENT 132 Dental Hygiene I ..... 5 Credits

DENT 125 Embryology, Histology & Anatomy ..... 3 Credits

DENT 141 Dental Radiography ..... 3 Credits

DENT 152 Preventive Concepts ..... 1 Credits

BIOL 230/231 Microbiology ..... 4 Credits

Semester Total : 16

DENT 134 Dental Hygiene Clinic II ..... 3 Credits

DENT 126 Head and Neck Anatomy ..... 2 Credits

DENT 145 Periodontics ..... 2 Credits

DENT 156 Pharmacology ..... 2 Credits

DENT 151 Nutrition ..... 3 Credits

DENT 153 Advanced Dental Hygiene Procedures ..... 1 Credits

Semester Total : 13

DENT 237 Dental Hygiene Clinic III ..... 4 Credits

DENT 251 Local Anesthesia and Pain Control ..... 2 Credits

DENT 225 Pathology ..... 2 Credits

DENT 260 Dental Health Education ..... 2 Credits

DENT 246 Dental Materials ..... 2 Credits

DENT 256 Dental Hygiene Care Planning ..... 2 Credits

Semester Total : 14

DENT 239 Dental Hygiene Clinic IV ..... 5 Credits

DENT 258 Ethics and Practice Management ..... 2 Credits

DENT 240 Applied Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene/Capstone ..... 2 Credits

DENT 262 Community Health ..... 3 Credits

Semester Total : 12

Outcomes

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.

Baccalaureate Options

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

Additional Information

On-campus facilities for the Dental Hygiene program are located on the Montgomery campus and include an eighteen chair dental hygiene clinic as well as a laboratory/classroom space. This facility is equipped in a manner to meet current standard of care requirements for dental hygiene practice.

Free Preventive Dental Hygiene Services Available

The Dental Hygiene Clinic is open late August through May to adults and children from the surrounding community, as well as students, faculty and staff of BridgeValley Community and Technical College. Patients are invited to make an appointment by calling the dental hygiene administrative associate at (304) 734-6651. Appointments must be made in advance. The office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Services are provided by students under the supervision of licensed, experienced dental professionals.

The clinic is located on the Montgomery campus in 605 Davis Hall.  GPS address:  619 2nd Avenue, Montgomery, WV 25136.

Preventive and therapeutic services provided: 

  • Oral prophylaxis (scaling & polishing) 
  • Quadrant scaling and root planing (periodontal therapy)
  • Oral radiographs (x-rays) – May be sent to dentist upon request
  • Dental sealants and fluorides 
  • Health screenings 
  • Oral examinations 
  • Dental health instructions 
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Topical anesthetic
  • Local anesthetic 
  • Study models
  • Cleaning of dentures/appliances

BridgeValley Dental Hygiene clinics and major courses are offered on the Montgomery campus.

All patients treated by students and faculty in the Department of Dental 

Hygiene have the right to:

  • Considerate, respectful and confidential treatment.
  • Continuity and completion of treatment.
  • Access to complete and current information about his/her condition.
  • Informed consent including explanation of recommended treatment, treatment alternatives, the option to refuse treatment, the risk of notreatment and expected outcomes of various treatments.
  • Treatment that meets the standard of care in the profession.

All patients treated by students and faculty in the Department of Dental Hygiene are expected to:

  • Respond honestly and thoroughly to all inquiries regarding oral and general health status.
  • Maintain a professional patient, student, and faculty member relationship free of unnecessary or unwelcome physical, verbal or 
  • electronic contact.
  • Follow treatment recommendations to attain and/or maintain optimum oral and general health.
  • Keep scheduled appointments so that students’ grades and the patient’s oral health are not jeopardized.