Academics

Dental Hygienist

If you’ve been to the dentist’s office lately, you’ve probably spent some time with a dental hygienist. These health care professionals play an important role in helping people develop good habits in caring for their teeth, gums, and oral health.

After this program, you will work under the supervision of a dentist. You’ll clean people’s teeth, expose x-rays to be interpreted by the dentist, and apply cavity-preventing materials such as fluoride treatments and sealants. You will also teach patients how to care for their teeth!

Because you work directly with patients and as a member of the dental health care team, you should enjoy working with people. You’ll need to have good manual dexterity because your job will require you to use dental instruments within the patient’s mouth. Good communication skills and a sound understanding of biology, chemistry, and math are needed.

You’ll have options of working full time or part time. Some work very flexible hours, often filling in for other hygienists as needed.

Recent graduates of the program earn, on average, $22 per hour.

Notice to patients and potential dental hygiene applicants: Dental clinic students, faculty clinicians and patients are exposed to bloodborne pathogens. These include (but are not limited to) pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood and have the potential to cause disease such as Hepatitis HBV, Herpes, Tuberculosis and HIV. The Bloodborne Pathogen policy is available by contacting the Dental Hygiene Program.

Admission Groups

In the interest of fairness to various groups of applicants seeking admission to our health career programs, we maintain several categories for admission.

For Dental Hygiene, 24 total students can be admitted into the program. This is broken down as: 4 high school – in district; 14 post high school – in district; and 6 post high school – out of district.

Degree

Associate in Applied Science (Career Program)
Total Credit Hours: 81.5

Program Requirements

Select a course number below to see a course description.

Required General Education Courses

Course Name Credit Hours
ENGL 110COMPOSITION I 3
COMM 110INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION: PRESENTATION AND THEORY 3
PSY 110INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY 3
BIOL 140HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 4
CHEM 115FOUNDATIONS OF CHEMISTRY 4
HUMANITIES *3

Required Program Courses

Course Name Credit Hours
BIOL 210MICROBIOLOGY 4
DHYGN 110DENTAL SCIENCE I 3
DHYGN 111DENTAL SCIENCE II 3
DHYGN 113FUNDAMENTALS OF DENTAL HYGIENE AND INFECTION CONTROL 1.5
DHYGN 115INTRODUCTION TO DENTAL HYGIENE 1
DHYGN 117DENTAL SPECIALTIES 1
DHYGN 131INTRODUCTION TO DENTAL HYGIENE CLINICAL APPLICATIONS 2
DHYGN 133PRECLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE 2
DHYGN 135DENTAL RADIOLOGY 3
DHYGN 137MEDICAL EMERGENCIES 1
DHYGN 139SPECIAL POPULATIONS 1
DHYGN 210COMMUNITY DENTAL HEALTH 3
DHYGN 212DENTAL MATERIALS 2
DHYGN 220NITROUS OXIDE ANALGESIA 0.5
DHYGN 222PREVENTIVE MODALITIES 3
DHYGN 226LOCAL ANESTHETICS FOR THE DENTAL HYGIENIST 1
DHYGN 228NEW DIMENSIONS IN DENTAL HYGIENE 2
DHYGN 230DENTAL HYGIENE CLINIC I 2
DHYGN 231DENTAL HYGIENE CLINIC II 5
DHYGN 232DENTAL HYGIENE CLINIC III 4
DHYGN 243ORAL PATHOLOGY I 1
DHYGN 244PERIODONTOLOGY 2
DHYGN 245ORAL PATHOLOGY II 2
DHYGN 246TRANSITIONS FOR THE DENTAL HYGIENIST 3
DHYGN 247OFFICE PRACTICES IN DENTISTRY 1.5
DHYGN 248PHARMACOLOGY I FOR DENTAL HYGIENISTS 1
DHYGN 249PHARMACOLOGY II FOR DENTAL HYGIENISTS 1
FCS 110BASIC NUTRITION 2
SOC 110AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY 3

* See specific requirements for Associate in Applied Science degree.

Graduates are eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a regional/state examination for registration as a Dental Hygienist in Illinois, and other states.  The dental hygienist works under the supervision of the dentist in dental offices and other health agencies by performing duties delegated by the dentist in accordance with the Illinois Dental Practice Act or other applicable state practice acts. Duties include cleaning teeth, exposing x-rays, providing oral healthcare instructions to patients, maintaining patient records, etc. Students receive extensive clinical experiences in the Illinois Central College Dental Hygiene Clinic and selected agencies.

All required general education courses may be taken prior to admission into the program.

Recommended Course Sequence

Semester Courses
Summer SemesterBIOL 140; CHEM 115
Fall Semester 1ENGL 110; BIOL 210; DHYGN 110; DHYGN 113; DHYGN 115; DHYGN 117; Humanities
Spring Semester 1COMM 110; FCS 110; DHYGN 111; DHYGN 131; DHYGN 133; DHYGN 135; DHYGN 137; DHYGN 139
Summer SemesterDHYGN 212; DHYGN 220; DHYGN 222; DHYGN 230; DHYGN 243
Fall Semester 2DHYGN 210; DHYGN 226; DHYGN 228; DHYGN 231; DHYGN 244; DHYGN 245; DHYGN 248
Spring Semester 2SOC 110; PSY 110; DHYGN 232; DHYGN 246; DHYGN 247; DHYGN 249

Program Contact Information

Health Careers Department
Peoria Campus, Cedar 105
(309) 690-7530

Illinois Career Cluster

Health Science

Career Pathway:
Therapeutic Services

Career Pathway

Pathway programs at ICC have a map that shows the courses/degree requirements that will lead students to their desired education and employment goals.

Career Cluster: Health Science
Pathway: Therapeutic Services
ICC Pathway: Dental Hygiene

Early College

If you are a high school junior or senior, you can get a head start on your future by taking college-level courses now! Visit our Dual Credit webpage for a listing of area high schools with courses available.

COMM 110 | ENGL 110 | HLTH 121 | ICC 104 | PSY 110 | SOC 110

Point of Entry

High School Diploma or GED

Getting Started: Apply to ICC | Apply to Health Careers | Paying for College | Career Information | Student Information

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Dental Hygienist(81.5 credit hours)

Industry Credentials

RDH

Employment Information

Dental Hygienist$24-28/hr

Occupation Bachelor Degree Transfer Options

BSDH Degree Completion at SUI-Carbondale
BSDH Degree Completion at University of Missouri-Kansas City

Many other degree completion programs are available.

Career Cluster Bachelor Degree Transfer Options

Program transfer guides layout course work to be taken at ICC and the transfer institution to complete specific programs of study or majors.

University of St. Francis—Dental Hygiene to Healthcare Leadership
Methodist College Bachelor of Health Science

Many other degree completion programs are available.

General Bachelor Degree Transfer Options

General transfer agreements formalize the transfer process from ICC to other colleges and universities.

For additional transfer information:
Transfer Assistance
Useful Transfer Links
Transfer Agreements

Accreditation

The program is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

National and Regional Clinical Board Results

Class
Initial Size/Graduates
Employment Data
NBDHE pass/fail
CDCA 2015 NERB pass/fail
CSCE pass/fail
CRDTS pass/fail
WREB pass/fail
2016-2018
24/23
2015-2017
24/17
95%
16/1**
13/4**
16/1**
-/-
-/-
2014-2016
24/18
83%
17/1**
18/0
17/1**
-/-
-/-
2013-2015
24/23
95%
20/3 2** 1*
20/3 2** 1+
20/3**
1+/0
-/-
2012-2014
19/15
100%
14/1
12/3**
15/0
-/-
-/-
2011-2013
22/16
94%
16/0
16/0
16/0
-/-
-/-
2010-2012
24/15
67%
15/0
14/0
13/0
-/-
1-N/A
2009-2011
24/14
64%
14/0
14/0
13/1**
-/-
-/-
2008-2010
24/13
87%
13/0
11/1*
11/0
2/1
1/0
2007-2009
24/15
93%
15/0
15/0
15/0
-/-
-/-
2006-2008
24/19
19/0
19/0
17/0
-/-
-/-
2005-2007
24/17
17/0
16/1*
17/0
0/1*
-/-

* passed 3rd attempt
** passed on second attempt
+ retake CRDTS not CDCA

Goals of the Program

  1. To provide a career program that prepares the graduate to move into the community as an ethical, professional, and competent dental hygienist.
  2. To provide dental hygiene care and education that strives to meet the needs of the community, especially for those individuals who might not have access to preventive dental services.
  3. To be able to assess patients of health as well as those with special needs.
  4. To be up-to-date and practice safe infection and hazard control procedures for the safety of self, patients, and all others.
  5. To offer a curriculum that may meet the lower-division requirements of four-your colleges and universities so that the individual may transfer to other institutions and continue formal education.
  6. To provide a foundation for professional growth, scientific advancement, and life-long learning through participating in and assuming leadership roles in professional organizations and continuing education planning.

Essential Skills and Abilities

An applicant must have the ability and skills necessary to provide competent patient care. Skills and abilities typically performed by a dental hygienist include:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Motor Ability
  • Conceptualization
  • Integration and Quantification
  • Behavior/Social Acceptability

Technological compensation can be made for some handicaps in certain areas, but an applicant should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable, in that an applicant’s judgment must not require mediation by someone else’s power of observation and selection.

In order to perform these skills, the applicant must have the ability to or possess:

A. Observation

  • Normal vision and focusing abilities (corrective lenses, if needed), including transfer vision and peripheral vision.
  • Ability to read small letters and numbers on gauges, dials, and instruments.

B. Communication

  • Hear to normal range (correction, if needed).
  • Communicate effectively and with sensitivity with people of all professional and social levels in writing and verbally.

C. Motor Ability

  • Maintain normal balance.
  • Perform fine motor hand skills, including bilateral arm, hand, and finger dexterity.
  • Sit for extended periods of time.
  • Operate dental chair foot controls with varied pressures.
  • Normal back, neck, hand, and wrist strength (IE: not prior problems, such as arthritis, carpal-tunnel syndrome, etc.)
  • Move about in the limited space of a dental room.

D. Behavior

  • The ability to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities necessary for members of the health profession.
  • Maintain composure when subjected to high stress levels.
  • Respond quickly and in an emotionally-controlled manner in emergency situations