A Dental Hygienist is a licensed preventive oral health care professional who provides educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public.
As part of clinical dental hygiene services, dental hygienists may:
- Perform oral health care assessments
- Expose, process, and interpret dental x-rays
- Remove plaque and calculus from above and below the gumline
- Apply cavity-preventive agents
- Administer local anesthetic and/or nitrous oxide analgesia
- Educate patients on proper oral hygiene techniques and proper nutrition for oral health
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Dental Hygiene prepares students to practice entry-level dental hygiene. Dental Hygiene students will provide preventive and therapeutic services and will develop a commitment to the community through extramural opportunities serving diverse populations. The program is a blend of academic and clinical coursework that requires attention to detail and motivation to complete tasks on a timeline.
Phoenix College Program Description
The Phoenix College Dental Hygiene Program, established in 1968, was the first dental hygiene program in Arizona, and has been a leader in educating dental hygienists for over 50 years. This four-semester dental hygiene program offers traditional face-to-face classes held Monday through Friday with a winter and summer break. The Phoenix College Dental Hygiene Program prides itself on their state of the art, modernized dental clinic equip with the most current technologies. Additionally, our experienced faculty team is student focused and dedicated to ensuring student success. Overall program outcomes and high pass rates on required exams demonstrates evidence of our student support. Successful completion of the curriculum prepares graduates for the National Dental Hygiene Board exam and clinical licensure exams, which are required to obtain a dental hygiene license in any of the fifty states. The Phoenix College Dental Hygiene Program’s reputation within the local dental community is long-standing and leads employers to seek out our graduates due to their excellent career preparation. The program maintains accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Career and Employment Outlook
Employment is found in a variety of health care settings such as private dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, nursing homes or in a corporate environment.
For information about careers in your area of study, visit O*NET OnLine for detailed job descriptions, education requirements, wage, and employment trend information.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for dental hygienists is expected to grow at a much faster rate compared to other occupations. Further, the demand for dental hygienists within the state of Arizona is estimated to grow by 33% through the year 2026. For additional information on median pay, associated job duties, work environment, and similar occupations, please visit the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics webpages.
CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (CEP) WITH NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
All potential applicants are encouraged to take pre-requisite courses to prepare them for the Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP) with Northern Arizona University (NAU) or to transfer to a Baccalaureate Degree Program. For more information on NAU’s CEP or degree completion program please contact Madalyn Smolinski, Coordinator at 928-523-7147 Madalyn.Smolinski@nau.edu or Jill Cooney, Academic Advisor at 928-523-2517 Jill.firstname.lastname@example.org or Chhs.email@example.com.
If you are interested in the Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP) with Northern Arizona University (NAU) to complete your Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene as you complete your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in dental hygiene, or if you are interested in university transfer for advanced degree completion within Arizona, please note the prerequisite options that best fit your plan. Be sure you work with a college transfer specialist to complete the necessary application.
TRANSFER AND BACHELOR’S DEGREE COMPLETION WITH ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Arizona State University (ASU) also offers several Bachelor’s Degree programs in Health Care, and allows students to transfer up to a minimum of 60 credits towards completing a Bachelor’s program. These programs can be completed online offering convenience for students with family and employment obligations. For more information on ASU’s offerings for completing a Bachelor’s Degree in health care, please visit their website: https://nursingandhealth.asu.edu/programs/undergraduate?ref-id=eop-ug
Dental Hygiene AAS Degree
Dental Assisting AAS Degree and Certificate of Completion
The American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation accredits the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs offered by Phoenix College.
Eligibility for Licensure
Graduates from the Phoenix College Dental Hygiene Program are eligible for board examinations and licensure in all fifty states. Licensing requirements are the exclusive responsibility of the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners.
Arizona Board of Dental Examiners: https://dentalboard.az.gov/
Western Regional Examining Board: https://wreb.org/
National Board of Dental Hygiene Exam: https://www.ada.org/en/jcnde/examinations/national-board-dental-hygiene-examination
Commission on Dental Competency Exam: https://www.cdcaexams.org/