Dental Hygiene

The Dental Hygiene curriculum prepares individuals with the knowledge and skills to assess, plan, implement and evaluate dental hygiene care for the individual and the community.

Students learn to prepare the operatory, take patient histories, note abnormalities, plan care, teach oral hygiene techniques, provide periodontal therapy, expose radiographs, apply preventive agents, complete necessary chart entries and perform other procedures related to dental hygiene care.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to take national and state/regional examinations for licensure which are required to practice dental hygiene. Employment opportunities include positions in dental offices, hospital clinics, schools, public health agencies, industry and professional education.

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Dental Hygiene (A45260)

Degree Awarded

The Associate in Applied Science degree - Dental Hygiene Degree is awarded by the college upon completion of this program.

Program Admission Steps

  • Complete a CPCC application.
  • Submit high school transcripts, as well as any college transcripts, to Admissions, Records & Registration on second floor of the Central High Building.
  • Take required placement tests or obtain a waiver.
  • Meet with a counselor or an advisor to review placement test scores, program information and select courses for registration.
  • Complete and submit a Dental Hygiene Application by the deadline date.
  • Take applicable Developmental Education courses.
  • Take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), ATI TEAS
  • Check the Courses section for details, as many courses have prerequisite or co-requisite requirements.

Refer to Admission Steps for Degree-Seeking or Transfer students from the orange Get Started Get Started on the admissions process icon on the college's home page.

In any Associate Degree Health Sciences program for which there are more applicants who have completed pre-admission requirements than there are positions, admission points are assigned according to the applicant’s documented record. Criteria for selection includes scores on the TEAS test, past academic performance and experience in the field of interest.

Additional Credentials

  • All students are required to be certified in First Aid and Health Care Provider CPR or CPR for Professional Rescuer before entering the Dental Hygiene Program.
  • Students must complete a minimum of CHM 121 and 121A or college equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher to apply to the dental hygiene program. The chemistry requirement must be completed not more than five years prior to acceptance.
  • In order to participate in clinical education experiences at health care facilities, students may be required to submit results of a NC state or national criminal background check at their own expense.

Notes

Licensure to practice dental hygiene is required prior to working in any state or jurisdiction.  The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners may request information regarding conviction of a felony and/or misdemeanor and/or current charges on the application for licensure and may decide not to license an individual based on the results of an investigation.

Costs of this program, in addition to tuition and textbooks, include uniforms, instruments, physical examination and specific vaccinations.

Progression in this program is dependent upon a grade of “C” or better in all general education courses, as well as major and related courses.

Contact Information

The Dental Hygiene program is in the Health Sciences Division. For more information, visit the website at cpcc.edu/health_sciences/dental-hygiene. If further assistance is needed, contact the Program Chair at 704.330.6365.

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General Education Requirements
ENG 111Writing and Inquiry3.0
SOC 210Introduction to Sociology3.0
COM 231Public Speaking3.0
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Writing and Research in the Disciplines
Literature-Based Research
Professional Research & Reporting
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Mathematical Measurement and Literacy
Quantitative Literacy
Statistical Methods I
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Art Appreciation
Art History Survey I
Art History Survey II
Cultural Studies
Myth in Human Culture
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Jazz
Philosophical Issues
Introduction to Ethics
World Religions
Major Requirements
BIO 175General Microbiology3.0
DEN 110Orofacial Anatomy3.0
DEN 111Infection/Hazard Control2.0
DEN 112Dental Radiography3.0
DEN 120Dental Hygiene Preclinic Lecture2.0
DEN 121Dental Hygiene Preclinical Lab2.0
DEN 123Nutrition/Dental Health2.0
DEN 124Periodontology2.0
DEN 130Dental Hygiene Theory I2.0
DEN 131Dental Hygiene Clinic I3.0
DEN 140Dental Hygiene Theory II1.0
DEN 141Dental Hygiene Clinic II2.0
DEN 220Dental Hygiene Theory III2.0
DEN 221Dental Hygiene Clinic III4.0
DEN 222General & Oral Pathology2.0
DEN 223Dental Pharmacology2.0
DEN 224Materials and Procedures2.0
DEN 230Dental Hygiene Theory IV1.0
DEN 231Dental Hygiene Clinic IV4.0
DEN 232Community Dental Health3.0
DEN 233Professional Development2.0
BIO 168Anatomy and Physiology I4.0
Other Major Requirements:
DEN 125Dental Office Emergencies1.0
BIO 169Anatomy and Physiology II4.0
Total Credits76

No diplomas offered.

No certificates offered.

Courses

DEN 100. Basic Orofacial Anatomy. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a basic introduction to the structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of normal structures and development and how they relate to the practice of dental assisting. Acceptance required into the Dental Assisting program.

DEN 101AB. Preclinical Procedures. 3.5 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-3.0. Work-0.0

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 102 with a minimum grade C

DEN 101BB. Preclinical Procedures. 3.5 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-3.0. Work-0.0

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 100, DEN 111, and DEN 112 with a minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take DEN 101AB

DEN 101. Preclinical Procedures. 7.0 Credits. Class-4.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-6.0. Work-0.0

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures.

Prerequisites: Take ENG 111 COM 231 with a minimum grade of C
Take DEN 100 DEN 102 DEN 103 DEN 105 DEN 111 DEN 112
Corequisites: Take DEN 104

DEN 102. Dental Materials. 4.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-4.0. Work-0.0

This course provides instruction in identification, properties, evaluation of quality, principles, and procedures related to manipulation and storage of operative and specialty dental materials. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and safe application of materials used in the dental office and laboratory. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and clinical application of routinely used dental materials. Acceptance required into the Dental Assisting program.

DEN 103. Dental Sciences. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is a study of oral pathology, pharmacology, and dental office emergencies. Topics include oral pathological conditions, dental therapeutics, and management of emergency situations. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize abnormal oral conditions, identify classifications, describe actions and effects of commonly prescribed drugs, and respond to medical emergencies.

Corequisites: Take DEN 106

DEN 104. Dental Health Education. 3.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course covers the study of preventive dentistry to prepare dental assisting students for the role of dental health educator. Topics include etiology of dental diseases, preventive procedures, and patient education theory and practice. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in patient counseling and oral health instruction in private practice or public health settings.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 100, DEN 101AB, DEN 102, DEN 111, DEN 112 with a minimum grade C

DEN 105. Practice Management. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a study of principles and procedures related to management of the dental practice. Emphasis is placed on maintaining clinical and financial records, patient scheduling, and supply and inventory control. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate fundamental skills in dental practice management.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 100, DEN 101AB, DEN 102, DEN 111, and DEN 112 with a minimum grade C

DEN 106. Clinical Practice I. 6.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-12.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is designed to provide experience assisting in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles and procedures of four-handed dentistry and laboratory and clinical support functions. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize classroom theory and laboratory and clinical skills in a dental setting.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 101BB, DEN 104, and DEN 105 with a minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take DEN 103

DEN 107. Clinical Practice II. 5.0 Credits. Class-1.0. Clinical-12.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is designed to increase the level of proficiency in assisting in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles and procedures of four-handed dentistry and laboratory and clinical support functions. Upon completion, students should be able to combine theoretical and ethical principles necessary to perform entry-level skills including functions delegable to a DA II.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 103 and DEN 106 with a minimum grade C

DEN 110. Orofacial Anatomy. 3.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces the structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology. Upon completion, students should be able to relate the identification of normal structures and development to the practice of dental assisting and dental hygiene.

DEN 111. Infection/Hazard Control. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces the infection and hazard control procedures necessary for the safe practice of dentistry. Topics include microbiology, practical infection control, sterilization and monitoring, chemical disinfectants, aseptic technique, infectious diseases, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws. Upon completion, students should be able to understand infectious diseases, disease transmission, infection control procedures, biohazard management, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws. Acceptance required into the Dental Assisting or Dental Hygiene program.

DEN 112. Dental Radiography. 3.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-3.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a comprehensive view of the principles and procedures of radiology as they apply to dentistry. Topics include techniques in exposing, processing, and evaluating radiographs, as well as radiation safety, quality assurance, and legal issues. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs using appropriate safety precautions. Acceptance required into the Dental Assisting or Dental Hygiene program.

DEN 120. Dental Hygiene Preclinic Lecture. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces preoperative and clinical dental hygiene concepts. Emphasis is placed on the assessment phase of patient care as well as the theory of basic dental hygiene instrumentation. Upon completion, students should be able to collect and evaluate patient data at a basic level and demonstrate knowledge of dental hygiene instrumentation.

Corequisites: Take DEN 121

DEN 121. Dental Hygiene Preclinical Lab. 2.0 Credits. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-6.0. Work-0.0

This course provides the opportunity to perform clinical dental hygiene procedures discussed in DEN 120. Emphasis is placed on clinical skills in patient assessment and instrumentation techniques. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to perform specific preclinical procedures.

Corequisites: Take DEN 120

DEN 123. Nutrition/Dental Health. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces basic principles of nutrition with emphasis on nutritional requirements and their application to individual patient needs. Topics include the study of Federal Nutritional Guidelines, nutrient functions, Recommended Daily Allowances, Adequate Intake, Tolerable Upper Intake Level, Estimated Average Requirement, and related psychological principles. Upon completion, students should be able to recommend and counsel individuals on their food intake as related to their dental health.

DEN 124. Periodontology. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an in-depth study of the periodontium, periodontal pathology, periodontal monitoring, and the principles of periodontal therapy. Topics include periodontal anatomy and a study of the etiology, classification, and treatment modalities of periodontal diseases. Upon completion, students should be able to describe, compare, and contrast techniques involved in periodontal/maintenance therapy, as well as patient care management.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 110 with a minimum grade of C
Take BIO 175 or BIO 275 with a minimum grade of C

DEN 125. Dental Office Emergencies. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a study of the management of dental office emergencies. Topics include methods of prevention, necessary equipment/drugs, medicolegal considerations, recognition and effective initial management of a variety of emergencies. Upon completion, the student should be able to recognize, assess and manage various dental office emergencies and activate advanced medical support when indicated.

DEN 130. Dental Hygiene Theory I. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is a continuation of the didactic dental hygiene concepts necessary for providing an oral prophylaxis. Topics include deposits/removal, instrument sharpening, patient education, fluorides, planning for dental hygiene treatment, charting, and clinical records and procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge needed to complete a thorough oral prophylaxis.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 120
Corequisites: Take DEN 131

DEN 131. Dental Hygiene Clinic I. 3.0 Credits. Class-0.0. Clinical-9.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on treatment of the recall patients with gingivitis or light deposits. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients' needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 110 DEN 111 DEN 112 DEN 120 DEN 121 with a minimum grade of C
Corequisites: Take DEN 130

DEN 140. Dental Hygiene Theory II. 1.0 Credit. Class-1.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces principles in treatment modification. Topics include modification of treatment for pain management and advanced radiographic interpretation. Upon completion, students should be able to differentiate necessary treatment modifications and radiographic abnormalities. Topic information is expanded to include an introduction to the concept of power driven scalers and modification of treatment for special needs patients.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 130
Corequisites: Take DEN 141

DEN 141. Dental Hygiene Clinic II. 2.0 Credits. Class-0.0. Clinical-6.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on treatment of patients with early periodontal disease and subgingival deposits. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients' needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 131
Corequisites: Take DEN 140

DEN 220. Dental Hygiene Theory III. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces advanced principles of patient care. Topics include advanced periodontal debridement, subgingival irrigation, air polishing, special needs and case presentations. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of methods of treatment and management of periodontally compromised and special needs patients.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 140
Corequisites: Take DEN 221

DEN 221. Dental Hygiene Clinic III. 4.0 Credits. Class-0.0. Clinical-12.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on treatment of patients with moderate to advanced periodontal involvement and moderate deposits. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients' needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 141
Corequisites: Take DEN 220

DEN 222. General & Oral Pathology. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a general knowledge of oral pathological manifestations associated with selected systemic and oral diseases. Topics include developmental and degenerative diseases, selected microbial diseases, specific and nonspecific immune and inflammatory responses with emphasis on recognizing abnormalities. Upon completion, students should be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissues and refer unusual findings to the dentist for diagnosis.

Prerequisites: Take One: BIO 163, BIO 165, or BIO 168

DEN 223. Dental Pharmacology. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides basic drug terminology, general principles of drug actions, dosages, routes of administration, adverse reactions, and basic principles of anesthesiology. Emphasis is placed on knowledge of drugs in overall understanding of patient histories and health status. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize that each patient's general health or drug usage may require modification of the treatment procedures.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 125 with a minimum grade of C
Corequisites: Take One: BIO 163, BIO 165, or BIO 168

DEN 224. Materials and Procedures. 2.0 Credits. Class-1.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-3.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces the physical properties of materials and related procedures used in dentistry. Topics include restorative and preventive materials, fabrication of casts and appliances, and chairside functions of the dental hygienist. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and/or clinical application of routinely used dental materials and chairside functions.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 111 DEN 121 Minimum grade C

DEN 230. Dental Hygiene Theory IV. 1.0 Credit. Class-1.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to increase knowledge of the profession. Emphasis is placed on dental specialties, technological advances, and completion of a case study presentation. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of various disciplines of dentistry, technological advances and principles of case presentations.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 220
Corequisites: Take DEN 231

DEN 231. Dental Hygiene Clinic IV. 4.0 Credits. Class-0.0. Clinical-12.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course continues skill development in providing an oral prophylaxis. Emphasis is placed on periodontal maintenance and on treating patients with moderate to advanced/refractory periodontal disease. Upon completion, students should be able to assess these patients' needs and complete the necessary dental hygiene treatment.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 221
Corequisites: Take DEN 230

DEN 232. Community Dental Health. 3.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-3.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a study of the principles and methods used in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating community dental health programs. Topics include epidemiology, research methodology, biostatistics, preventive dental care, dental health education, program planning, and financing and utilization of dental services. Upon completion, students should be able to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate a community dental health program.

Prerequisites: Take DEN 123 DEN 130 and DEN 131 with a minimum grade of C

DEN 233. Professional Development. 2.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course includes professional development, ethics, and jurisprudence with applications to practice management. Topics include conflict management, state laws, resumes, interviews, and legal liabilities as health care professionals. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to practice dental hygiene within established ethical standards and state laws.