Dental Hygiene Program
What is a Dental Hygienist?
Dental hygienists are an integral part of the dental care team and are responsible for examining patients’ teeth and gums. Mostly employed by dental offices, dental hygienists enjoy flexible schedules and can even find jobs internationally through dental hygiene associations, embassies or with the military.
Dental hygienists primarily use an assortment of tools to clean and polish teeth, removing stains, plaque and tartar. They also take x-rays of teeth, teach patients how to have good oral hygiene and perform various other preventative dental care functions, such as applying cavity-preventative agents like fluoride and sealants.
In some states, dental hygienists can administer anesthetics, place and carve filling materials and periodontal dressings, and remove sutures.
Associate Degree Program
Students in Pima Medical Institute’s Dental Hygiene program will develop the personal traits and professional skills needed to perform as successful entry-level dental hygienists. During the program, students will receive classroom instruction that will include topics such as communications, anatomy and physiology, radiography, oral pathology, patient management, special needs patients, dental materials and periodontics.
|CSK 100||Study Skills||15||1.0|
|BIO 115||Anatomy & Physiology||45||30||4.0|
|BIO 145||Microbiology & Immunology||45||3.0|
|RDH 101||Introduction to Dental Hygiene||30||2.0|
|RDH 185||Dental Anatomy||45||15||3.5|
|Semester I Total||240||45||17.5|
|BIO 155||Head & Neck Anatomy||30||15||2.5|
|RDH 115||Preclinical Dental Hygiene||30||2.0|
|RDH 120||Preclinical Clinical Dental Hygiene||90||2.0|
|Sequence II Total||165||45||90||14.5|
|RDH 150||Dental Hygiene I||30||15||2.5|
|RDH 155||Clinical Dental Hygiene I||120||2.5|
|RDH 260||Pharmacology for Dental Hygiene||45||3.0|
|Sequence III Total||135||60||120||13.5|
|RDH 175||Dental Hygiene II||30||15||2.5|
|RDH 180||Clinical Dental Hygiene II||150||3.0|
|RDH 208||Nutrition & Cariology||15||15||1.5|
|RDH 214||Patient/Pain Management||30||45||3.5|
|RDH 220||General/Oral Pathology||45||3.0|
|Sequence IV Total||120||75||150||13.5|
|RDH 200||Dental Hygiene III||30||15||2.5|
|RDH 205||Clinical Dental Hygiene III||180||4.0|
|RDH 250||Treatment of Special Needs Patient Seminar||30||15||2.5|
|RDH 258||Community & Public Dental Health||30||30||3.0|
|RDH 265||Restorative Lab*||75||2.5|
|Sequence V Total||90||135||180||14.5|
|RDH 225||Review of Dental Hygiene||45||15||3.5|
|RDH 270||Dental Health Promotions||30||30||3.0|
|RDH 280||Dental Hygiene IV||180||4.0|
|RDH 285||Restorative Clinic*||60||1.0|
|RDH 290||Principles of Dental Hygiene Practice||45||3.0|
|Sequence VI Total||120||45||240||14.5|
Dental hygienists are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations due to population growth, an emphasis on preventative dental care and older people who are retaining more teeth. Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow 38 percent nationally through 2020.
The majority of dental hygienists work part time and nearly all are employed in dentist offices. A small number may work for employment services, in physicians’ offices or in other industries.
Licensure and Certification
Dental hygienists are required to be licensed in the state where they practice, and nearly all states require that dental hygienists graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school and pass both a written and clinical examination administered by the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and by state or regional testing agencies, respectively.
Pima Medical Institute's program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (and has been granted the accreditation status of “initial accreditation”). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/100.aspx.
Approximately 21 months
For more detailed information on PMI's Dental Hygiene program specifics and financial aid eligibility, please visit your local campus below.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Houston, Texas NEW! Seattle, Washington
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Dental Hygienists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm