Dental Hygiene Technology
Associate of Applied Science
What is Dental Hygiene Technology?
Dental hygiene is a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited associate of applied science degree program that is designed to prepare students to work as an integral part of a dental team. As licensed professionals, dental hygienists provide a variety of educational and health care services to the public, including
- cleaning and polishing teeth;
- applying preventive agents such as fluorides and sealants;
- exposing and processing radiographs;
- educating patients in the prevention of oral diseases;
- instructing patients in home care procedures;
- removing hard and soft deposits from teeth;
- providing nutritional counseling;
- administering nitrous oxide sedation and local anesthesia; and
- performing other preventive patient services.
Students have direct patient contact in the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College (UCBA) Dental Hygiene Clinic. The UCBA Dental Hygiene Clinic is open to the public and provides dental hygiene services, charging a nominal fee to cover equipment and supplies. Learn more about the UCBA Dental Hygiene Clinic.
The UCBA Dental Hygiene Program is structured in accordance with accreditation requirements stipulated by the CODA of the American Dental Association. Upon successful completion of the two academic years, graduates are eligible to take national, regional, state and local anesthesia written and clinical licensure examinations.
Graduates can be employed in general/family, pediatrics, or periodontal practices, hospitals, public health clinics, research institutions, public schools, business and industry, or the armed forces.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygiene is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health to general health will continue to spur demand for preventative dental services, which are often provided by the dental hygienist.
Individuals considering a career in dental hygiene should have a strong commitment to working with people in healthy or unhealthy conditions. A dedication to delivering competent and compassionate health care and the ability to communicate effectively are crucial to a successful and rewarding career in this profession.
When applying for state licensure, the candidate will be required to complete a criminal background check and indicate whether or not he or she has ever been convicted of a felony or other crimes or has a history of mental illness or substance abuse. Positive responses may disqualify him or her as a candidate for licensure.
It is highly recommended that candidates attend an information session within the year of application. Please be on time and note that latecomers will not be admitted to the session. Seating for the information sessions is limited and offered on a first come, first serve basis. Click here for a list of dates as well as links to register .
Admission to the College
Students may enroll in UC Blue Ash College if they graduated from an accredited high school or preparatory school, or have a GED certificate (minimum composite score of 45). Students entering as first time freshmen must attend a new student orientation where they will also receive academic advising. All other students should contact their advisor directly upon confirming acceptance to the college and completion of placement tests.
New applicants can apply to the college and be admitted to the Pre-Health Professions (PHLP), non-degree program. New applicants may take prerequisite and non-clinical courses in preparation for selective admission process. Students in Pre-Health Professions may also take general education courses required in the program, as long as they do not exceed 30 credit hours.
Step 1. Apply online for admission to the college and list Pre-Health Professions for your major.
Step 2. Transcripts/test scores should be sent to the UC main campus for processing. Request high school transcripts/GED and all college transcripts (if applicable) to be sent to UC Office of Admissions. If a student is applying directly from high school, ACT or SAT scores should also be sent to UC Office of Admissions. If a student is not applying directly from high school, the SAT or ACT is not needed.
Transcripts should be sent to:
University of Cincinnati, Office of Admissions
PO Box 210091, Cincinnati OH 45221-0091
Step 3. Take the Math Placement Test (MPT).
Step 4. Take the college English Placement Test (EPT).
Step 5. Meet with a Pre-Health Professions Advisor to determine what courses must be taken to meet the program's prerequisites. It is imperative that the students work with a Pre-Health Professions Advisor in completing prerequisites courses. Students can locate advisor contact information via the UCBA advising website.
Minimum Qualifications to Apply for Selective Admission
- Biology: One year of high school Biology with lab and a grade of C or higher completed within 6 years of application or college biology as indicated below:
- If high school Biology grade was C, but was taken longer than 6 years prior to application, the student must complete Biology for the Health Professions and Technical Programs I (BIOL1051C) with a grade of C or better.
- If high school Biology was not taken or if the student earned a grade below C, the student must complete both the Biology for the Health Professions and Technical Programs I and II (BIOL1051C and BIOL1052C) with grades of “C” or better.
- Chemistry: One year of high school chemistry with lab and a grade of C or better completed within 6 years of application or CHEM 1030 (General, Organic, and Biochemistry I) and CHEM 1030L (Gen/Org/ Biochemistry Lab) with grades of C or better.
- If high school Chemistry grade was a C but was taken longer than 6 years prior to application, the student must complete CHEM 1030 (General Organic and Biochemistry I) and CHEM 1030L (Gen/Org/ Biochemistry Lab) with grades of “C” or better.
- If high school Chemistry was not taken or if the student earned a grade below C, the student must complete CHEM 1030 (General Organic and Biochemistry I) and CHEM 1030L (Gen/Org/ Biochemistry Lab) with grades of “C” or better.
Math: Eligibility for college level math is required. Students may meet the math requirement via Math Placement Test (MPT) with a score of 420 or higher OR with a 25 or higher on the ACT Math sub-test OR an SAT math sub-score of 630 or higher.
English: English Placement test: Eligible for English Composition (ENGL 1001) – student must achieve a score of 5 OR ACT combined English and Writing score of 18 or higher OR an SAT writing score of 430 or higher.
TOEFL: (Test of English as Foreign Language) – students who have not graduated from a U.S. or English speaking high school must achieve a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL examination.
Minimum GPA (Cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale) most recent:
High school GPA of 3.0 un-weighted .
GPA of 2.8 in college courses with a minimum of 12 credit hours.
ACT/SAT (for high school students): ACT composite score of 21 or SAT score of 980.
NOTE: Application to the Dental Hygiene Program, or having the minimum qualifications does not guarantee admission. Also, the maximum number of times a student can apply for program admission is two.
Additional Selective Admission Requirements:
- Reflective Essay – Must be submitted along with the electronic dental hygiene application and must be a minimum of 300 words to a maximum of 600 words. Use Cambria or Times New Roman, size 12 regular font (not italicized or bold, no underlining), double spaced.
- Office Observations – Applicants are required to visit 2 dental offices for 8 hours (minimum 4 hours each) for the purpose of observing behind-the-scenes operations and the role of the dental hygienist in that office. The Pre-Admission Observation/Work Experience Form must be submitted along with the electronic Dental Hygiene application. Click here to download observation form
Additional Program Information
Both first and second year students must attend a mandatory orientation the week before the start of classes. Students are required to purchase instruments, magnification loupes and uniforms, refer to the Cost Estimate sheet for more detailed information regarding additional expenses. Other critical requirements include proof of Hepatitis vaccination and titer, annual TB test, vision examination, dental examination and current health care provider CPR certification.
Bloodborne Pathogens/Infectious Disease(s) Policy
The UC Blue Ash Dental Hygiene Department recognizes that bloodborne pathogens such as human immunodeficiency (HIV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) present a risk to students, faculty, staff and patients. Learn more and review the policy.
Students who succeed in the dental hygiene program have a strong science background. They are effective time managers, adept at setting priorities, possess effective organizational skills and demonstrate a willingness to work hard, think critically and communicate in a professional manner. Oral and written communication skills are essential.
Specific physical requirements are necessary to perform dental hygiene functions. A dental hygienist must have use of both hands, dexterity in the fingers and tactile sensitivity to manipulate dental instruments, materials, dental handpieces, and operate dental equipment. The use of feet is necessary to manipulate the rheostat for handpieces and other adjunct dental equipment. The student must be able to work from a dental operator’s stool in order to perform dental hygiene procedures. The ability to sit and stand for durations of time is also necessary.
Other specific requirements include:
- color discrimination (differentiation of various shades of color and gradations from black to white);
- manual dexterity/motor coordination (discern changes in surface textures by manipulating dental instruments, control exertion of hand/finger pressure);
- eye-hand coordination (transfer of visual input into motor output);
- physical communications (perceive sound through telephone, hear commands through operator’s face mask, hear oral communication from patients, discern blood pressure sounds);
- visual acuity (identify the working ends of various dental instruments and implements at a 2 foot distance);
- form/spatial ability (view in 3 dimensional relationships, distinguish subtle changes from one form or shape to another, discriminate intricate measurements);
- language development (communicate clearly so that patient understands his/her dental/oral condition).
A variety of employment opportunities exist for dental hygienists: treating patients in private offices; educating future dental hygiene professionals; administrating and planning in health departments; providing patient care in institutional settings, such as long-term care facilities; and providing oral hygiene instruction and care in public school systems. Some of these career options will require a higher degree.
Students can locate advisor contact information for dental hygiene technology via the UCBA advising website. Students are assigned to advisors according to the first letter of his/her last name.
The dental hygiene program at UCBA was established in 1967 and is the only accredited program in Hamilton County. An advantage of UC Blue Ash College is the opportunity to complete this career-oriented program in a small college environment. Most classes are small to moderate in size. The dental hygiene department has a low student-faculty ratio, giving students many opportunities for personal contact with their professors. Clinical experiences occur on campus in our state of the art facility, consisting of computer technology, digital radiology and intraoral cameras. Faculty are well qualified and nationally recognized.
UCBA has a comprehensive study skills center where students can obtain help with reading comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking. Other related topics include organization, time management, note taking, reading textbooks, improving memory and test taking can be addressed. All services are free of charge to UCBA students.
The University is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. Students may be eligible for classroom note takers, adapted testing, audio books, enlarged print, sign language interpreters, and other services as needed.
The thirty-four chair clinic is an on campus facility for students to gain clinical competence in providing dental hygiene care. It is open to the public during the academic year. Students complete their clinical experience onsite providing a variety of preventive services such as comprehensive health history assessment, blood pressure screening, oral cancer screening, oral hygiene instruction with home care products, digital and traditional radiographs, tooth desensitization, fluoride treatment, scaling and root planing, cleaning and polishing teeth and nutritional counseling.
The UC Smiles program brings area children to the UC Blue Ash campus and provides them with the resources they need to attain good oral health - while encouraging them that a college education is attainable for everyone.
The Community Dental Day is held annually. The goal of this event is to provide access to free dental care for adults who do not have dental insurance or who have never been to a dentist.
To qualify for the Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene technology degree, students must fulfill the requirements of the program with a C or better and must have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Students must demonstrate competency in a variety of clinical patient care experiences as well as tasks and procedures performed by a practicing dental hygienist to include local anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation. Additional requirements include community service, table clinics, off campus experiential rotations and professional organization activities.
It is the student's responsibility to take the courses necessary for graduation.
In order to be fully evaluated for transfer credits to the dental hygiene program, credits must be assessed as part of the college admission process and dental hygiene course syllabi reviewed by the chairperson.
Dental Hygiene Selective Admission Criteria
Electronic Application: The selective admission process begins in January for the entering class of the following Fall Semester. The electronic application opens in early January and closes in early March, no exceptions. Admission is selective and competitive. Spaces in the class are limited, so not all qualified applicants may be admitted. Students who meet the minimum requirements by the end of UC's Spring Semester are encouraged to apply to the dental hygiene program. Applicants will be notified by the middle of June. Please do contact us about your application status prior to this time.
The Selection Process: The program admissions committee will review the academic records, reflective essay and office observations for all students who meet the minimum selective admission criteria and complete the application process. Based on a rubric system, the highest rankings will be given to those students who are most successful in the following areas:
- Science GPA
- Overall GPA
Additional rubric points will be given for completion of:
- College Level Math
- Anatomy and Physiology I (BIOL2001C)
- Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL2002C)
- Microbiology (BIOL2031C)
- General and Biochemistry (CHEM1020)
- Taking calsses at UC
- Essay (quality of content and context)
Note: Applying to the Dental Hygiene Program does not guarantee admission. The maximum number of times a student may apply for admission is two.
The dental hygiene program at UCBA is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
American Dental Association
Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Third party comments considered can be submitted to the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation and must pertain only to the standards relative to the particular program being reviewed or policies and procedures used in the accreditation process. Comments will be screened by Commission staff for relevancy. For comments not relevant to these issues, the individual will be notified that the comment is not related to accreditation and, where appropriate, referred to the appropriate agency. For those individuals interested in submitting comments, requests can be made to the commission office for receiving standards and/or the Commission’s Evaluation Policies and Procedures. (EEP)
9555 Plainfield Road
UCBA Dental Hygiene Program
Blue Ash, OH 45236
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Program Code: 28ASC-DHTN-AAS