Rock Valley College

Dental Hygiene Degree

Learn how to apply to the Dental Hygiene Program here!

Degree conferred: Associate in Applied Science - 82 Credits
Program contact: Dental Hygiene Program office, (815) 921-3235

For more information please contact Amanda Lonsway at

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 March 31, 2022 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. 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.
  2. Chemistry: CHM 110/210–General, Organic and Biochemistry I/II, or CHM 120-General Chemistry I, or equivalent Chemistry course with lab.
  3. Communications: ENG 101–Composition I, or equivalent.
  4. Fitness, Wellness & Sport: FWS 237–Nutrition for Optimum Living (3 credits as a prereq that must be completed within two years of entering the program)
  5. All prerequisites must be completed with a “C” or higher, unless noted above.

General Education Program Requirements (34 credits)

Number Title
  BIO-281 Anatomy and Physiology I
  BIO-282 Anatomy and Physiology II
  BIO-274 Microbiology
  CHM-210 General, Organic & Biochemistry II
  CHM-120 General Chemistry I
  ENG-101 Composition I
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication
  PSY-170 General Psychology
  SOC-190 Introduction to Sociology
  FWS-237 Nutrition for Optimum Living

Dental Hygiene Program Requirements (48 credits)

Term I, Fall (12 credits)

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

Term II, Spring (13 credits)

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

Term III, Summer I (2.5 credits)

Number Title
  DNT-208 Dental Hygiene Pain Management Theory
  DNT-209 Dental Hygiene Pain Managment Lab

Term IV, Summer II (4.5 credits)

Number Title
  DNT-210 Dental Materials Theory
  DNT-211 Dental Materials Lab
  DNT-212 Clinical Interim

Term V, Fall (11 credits)

Number Title
  DNT-214 Periodontics II
  DNT-216 Clinical Dental Hygiene II
  DNT-217 Dental Hygiene Theory II
  DNT-220 Community Dental Health
  DNT-221 Community Dental Health Practicum
  DNT-223 Dental Ethics, Jur, Practice Management

Term VI, Spring (7 credits)

Number Title
  DNT-224 Clinical Dental Hygiene III
  DNT-225 Dental Hygiene Theory III

Cooperative Community Colleges are: Blackhawk Technical College.

Questions? Please contact Nursing & Allied Health Academic Advisor, Amanda Lonsway at

Last updated on April 9, 2020.

Program Disclosure:

The Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene Program at Rock Valley College meets the state education requirements for a registered dental hygiene license in the state of Illinois. Rock Valley College has not determined if the Rock Valley College Dental Hygiene Program meets the state education requirements in any other state, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia. The following link contains additional information on dental hygienist education, training requirements, and professional licensure.

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