As a licensed member of the dental team, a dental hygienist focuses on the prevention of oral diseases and the maintenance of oral health in accordance with the state’s Dental Hygiene Practice Act. The dental hygienist works in various health care settings, including hospitals, public health, private practices, schools, dental supply companies, clinics, and research facilities. Some hygienists assist with orthodontic procedures, but their key role is to use tools and treatments to protect teeth, perform x-rays of patients’ mouth, create care plans, recognize early signs of oral disease and recommend treatments to mitigate oral decay, and educate patients on the steps to take to maintain oral health.
Dental hygiene programs prepare students to take responsibility in practice, use professional judgment, and adhere to ethical conduct. The curriculum includes theory but there is a heavy emphasis on hands-on practice in student clinics and real-world facilities. An associate degree in dental hygiene is the basic requirement for employment in most dentists’ offices. The program typically takes two to three years to complete and are most commonly offered by community colleges, proprietary dental schools, and technical schools.
Dental hygienists must apply for a license from the Office of Professions Division of Professional Licensing Services to practice in New York. Applicants must provide proof of completing a dental hygiene program that is approved by New York State or accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation. A good moral character and proof of age (17 years) are other requirements for licensure. Licenses are issued for life unless revoked. Licensees who wish to continue practice must renew their licenses every three years.
The dental hygiene program at City Tech leads to an AAS in Dental Hygiene. Through theory, laboratory and clinical practice in the core courses and general education courses, students will gain proficiency required for entry-level employment as a Dental Hygienist. The development of skills in the on-campus dental hygiene clinic and at off-campus affiliated clinics will smooth the transition from the classroom to the world of work. Graduates will be prepared to function as competent oral health clinicians, motivate clients toward optimal oral health, use infection control protocols to prevent disease transmission in dental health, communicate clearly in oral and written presentations, and participate in professional organizations to strengthen their commitment to lifelong learning.
Dental Hygiene AAS
Duration: 2 years
Credit hours: 66 to 67
General education courses: English Composition I, Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, Principles of Chemistry or Higher, Introduction to Psychology, Elements of Sociology, Public Speaking or Voice and Diction
Degree requirements: Principles of Dental Hygiene Care, Oral Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Principles of Dental Hygiene Care II, Periodontics, Dental Radiology, Principles of Dental Hygiene Care III, Oral Pathology, Pharmacology, Dental Materials, Principles of Dental Hygiene Care IV, Introduction to Public Health, Microbiology, Nutrition
- Must be CUNY proficient in writing and math and above the 12th grade level in reading
- Must have a high school diploma with a minimum of 70 average or a minimum score of 2700 on the HSE exam
- Complete the 22 required general education credits with a minimum grade C and a combined GPA of 2.5
- Submit a completed departmental medical form
- Provide proof of immunization
- Must have malpractice insurance
- Must have current Health Care Provider CPR certification
Tuition costs $3,465 per semester for full-time resident students. Additional costs for Board Examinations, N.Y. State licensure, professional memberships, instruments and supplies, textbooks, uniforms, and hygiene pin must be covered by the student.
Address: 285 Jay Street, Academic Building 701 (A-701), Brooklyn, NY 11201
NYU College of Dentistry
The New York University’s Dental Hygiene Program seeks partnership with students to achieve academic excellence. The emphasis will be to promote scholarly activity, disease prevention, health promotion, community service, and the use of critical thinking and evidence-based decision making. The curriculum is modified to accommodate relevant and current dental hygiene practice. Students will have the privilege to work in clinical settings wit DDS students and faculty from the dental hygiene, dentistry, and specialty areas to achieve experience while attending to a diverse patient population. Dental hygiene students will further develop skills through continuous rotations in specialty areas such as pediatric dentistry, periodontics, orthodontics, and implant dentistry. NYU offers an accelerated 17-month track, the traditional 2-year track, and the 3-year daytime track.
AAS in Dental Hygiene
Duration: 2 years
Credit hours: 78
Human Microbiology I, Oral Anatomy, Principles of Dental Hygiene I, Principles of Dental Hygiene I Clinical, Anatomy and Physiology I, Radiology, Chemistry for Allied Health, CPR, Writing Workshop I, Anatomy and Physiology II, Principles of Dental Hygiene II, Principles of Dental Hygiene II Clinical, Dental Materials, Oral Embryology & Histology, Periodontics, Human Microbiology II, Writing Workshop, Principles of Dental Hygiene III, Principles of Dental Hygiene III Clinical, General and Oral Pathology, Pharmacology, Prev. Dentistry and Public Health, Oral Communications, Intro to Psychology, Nutrition and Health, Board Review, Principles of Dental Hygiene IV, Principles of Dental Hygiene IV Clinical, Ethics, Oral Health Education, Pain Management, Intro to Sociology
- Must have a minimum high school cumulative GPA of 85% or higher
- Submit SAT or ACT test scores
- Must have completed biology and chemistry courses with a grade B or better
- Candidates who have completed college credits must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 of better
- Take a Writing Placement Exam through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies
- Attend a mandatory orientation
Tuition costs $26, 654 per semester for full-time students enrolled in 12 to 20 credits. Other school-based fees include clinical practice tuition, dental instrument rental fee, fingerprint and background check, textbooks, and uniforms.
Address: 345 E. 24th Street, (corner of First Avenue), New York, NY, 10010
Phone: (212) 998-9800
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College
The Dental Hygiene Program offered by Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree for students who complete the program requirements. Students will be prepared for success on the National Board and Clinical State Board exams to qualify for licensure and employment. A two-year and three-year course of study are available to give students the option to select their preferred pace. Experienced faculty make it their goal to produce competent clinicians who will commit to make a positive impact on their community and the profession as a whole. Apart from the classroom theory, students will deliver preventative dental health care at the on-site dental hygiene patient care facility under the supervision of a licensed dental hygienist and dentist.
Dental Hygiene AAS
Duration: 2 years
Credit hours: 70
English Composition, Anatomy and Physiology I, Anatomy and Physiology II, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Fundamentals of Public Speaking, Intro to Chemistry I (Lecture and Lab), Principles of Organic Chemistry, Oral Anatomy and Physiology (Lecture and Lab), Head & Neck Anatomy, Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice I, Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice II, Dental Radiology I: Basic Concepts (Lecture and Lab), Oral Microbiology (Lecture and Lab, Oral Embryology and Histology, Clinic I, Nutrition, Dental Radiology II: Technique & Interpretation (Lecture and Lab), Dental Materials, General & Oral Pathology, Periodontology, Dental Health Education, Advanced Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice, Clinic II, Community Dental Health, Pharmacology, Dental Specialties, Ethics, Jurisprudence & Practice Management, Senior Seminar, Clinic III
- Complete the online application for admission
- Submit official high school transcript or TASC (GED) with a minimum score of 2250
- Pay the non-refundable application fee of $65
- Take and pass the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests in reading comprehension, mathematics, and writing
- Provide proof of immunization – MMR
- Complete residency verification if applicable
Tuition costs $2,400 per semester for full-time resident students. Additional costs for fees, textbooks, insurance, uniforms, and supplies must be covered by the student.
Address: 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451