School of health services
What is a dental hygienist?
A dental hygienist’s primary functions focus on dental disease prevention and oral health maintenance. In NC, these functions are performed under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. The clinical dental hygienist collaborates with the dentist in an effort to provide services to the patient that will guide the patient towards optimal oral health.
What employment opportunities are available?
Dental hygienists provide oral health services in a variety of work environments. These include, but are not limited to, private dental offices, hospitals, health departments, government clinics, and correctional facilities. Approximate salary is $20 - $40 per hour, depending on location, benefits and experience.
What is the class schedule/length for the Dental Hygiene program?
The dental hygiene core courses are offered only during the day on a full-time basis. The DH program consists of seven semesters, which requires two years to complete. Graduates of the program are eligible, with the approval of the Dental Hygiene Dept. Head, to apply to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the NC State Board Examination, as well as any other state or regional Dental Hygiene Board Examinations.
Please Note: Graduates applying to take the NC State Board Examination will be required to undergo a criminal records check and fingerprinting prior to obtaining a NC Dental Hygiene License.
The Dental Hygiene program begins in the Fall Semester. Admission to the program is based upon completion of all minimum requirements as listed on the attached “Minimum Requirements” sheet by March 15 of the admissions year, and the competitive selection process. To begin the admission process, attend a Starting Points Information Session, complete the admission file (see #1 on MARs page in the Dental Hygiene Admission Packet), and meet with an admission staff member in Student Services.
College tuition is set by the North Carolina State Legislature and is subject to change. Dental Hygiene students are required to purchase a variety of books, class uniforms, malpractice insurance, accident insurance, and other fees as set by the College. The approximate cost for the Dental Hygiene program is $6,000. (This figure is based upon in-state tuition rates and reflects an approximate cost.) In addition to that, testing and licensure fees are approximately $2,500.00. Costs are subject to change.
All applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid. To determine eligibility, an applicant must first complete the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. This application is available in Student Services. For additional information on Financial Aid, contact the Financial Aid Office at 828/327-7000, extensions 4214 or 4450.