Rock Valley College

Dental Hygiene Degree

Degree conferred: Associate in Applied Science - 78 Credits
Program contact: Dental Hygiene Program office, (815) 921-3235

Program overview

Graduates of this program have acquired skills to provide care that supports optimal oral health, including educational, clinical and therapeutic services. Skills are mastered through classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences to provide well-rounded career preparation.

Dental Hygiene Lab

Work and employment

A career in dental hygiene offers opportunities in multiple settings. Registered Dental Hygienists are part of a dental health team. Dental hygienists work in private and corporate dental offices, where they provide treatment and services that help to prevent oral disease such as dental caries and periodontal disease and educate the client about maintenance of optimal oral health. They also work in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, schools, correctional facilities, health maintenance organizations and higher education institutions where they serve as faculty members.

Professional Credential and Program Accreditation

Graduates are eligible to take two board exams that lead to state licensure. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) under the auspices of the American Dental Association (ADA).

Admission to the Program

Admission is selective and competitive. All required documents must be submitted to the Dental Hygiene Program office on or before February 15th to be reviewed for admission for the fall semester. The Dental Hygiene Program holds information sessions that cover prerequisites and other important admission information. Attendance of a session is required to receive an application packet for the program. Schedule a time to attend an information session.

Prerequisite Courses

If accepted into the program, the following courses or equivalencies must be completed before starting this program:

  1. A prerequisite GPA of 2.5.
  2. Biology: BIO 281/282–Human Anatomy and Physiology I/II, or equivalent and BIO 274-Microbiology. Completion of BIO 282 within 5 years. BIO 281/282 must meet a minimum of 2.5 GPA
  3. Chemistry: CHM 110/210–General, Organic and Biochemistry I/II, or CHM 120-General Chemistry I, or equivalent Chemistry course with lab.
  4. Communications: ENG 101–Composition I, or equivalent.
  5. Fitness, Wellness & Sport: FWS 237–Nutrition for Optimum Living(3 credits as a prereq that must be completed within one year of entering the program)
  6. All prerequisites must be completed with a “C” or higher, unless noted above.

General Education Program Requirements (30 credits)

Number Title Credits
  ENG-103 Composition II (3)
  BIO-281 Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
  BIO-282 Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
  BIO-274 Microbiology (4)
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication (3)
  PSY-170 General Psychology (3)
  SOC-190 Introduction to Sociology (3)
  FWS-237 Nutrition for Optimum Living (3)

One 3-credit elective in Humanities and Fine Arts is also required.

Dental Hygiene Program Requirements (48 credits)

Term I, Fall (12 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-102 Preventive Dental Hygiene (2)
  DNT-104 Dental Anatomy, Histology, Embryology (3)
  DNT-106 Head and Neck Anatomy (3)
  DNT-108 Pre-Clin Dental Hygiene Theory (2)
  DNT-109 Pre-Clinical Dental Hygiene Lab (2)

Term II, Spring (13 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-112 Clinical Dental Hygiene I (2)
  DNT-113 Dental Hygiene Theory I (1)
  DNT-114 General and Oral Pathology (3)
  DNT-116 Dental Radiology Theory (2)
  DNT-117 Dental Radiology Lab (1)
  DNT-118 Dental Pharmacology (2)
  DNT-120 Introduction to Periodontics I (2)

Term III, Summer I (2.5 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-208 Dental Hygiene Pain Management Theory (2)
  DNT-209 Dental Hygiene Pain Managment Lab (0.5)

Term IV, Summer II (4.5 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-210 Dental Materials Theory (2)
  DNT-211 Dental Materials Lab (1)
  DNT-212 Clinical Interim (2)

Term V, Fall (9 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-214 Periodontics II (2)
  DNT-216 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (4)
  DNT-217 Dental Hygiene Theory II (1)
  DNT-220 Community Dental Health (2)
  DNT-221 Community Dental Health Practicum (1)

Term VI, Spring (7 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-218 Dental Ethics, Jurisprudence & Practice (2)
  DNT-224 Clinical Dental Hygiene III (4)
  DNT-225 Dental Hygiene Theory III (2)

Cooperative Community Colleges are: Blackhawk Technical College.

Questions? Please see an academic advisor or attend an information session.

Last updated on October 28, 2019.