Dental Hygiene is the science and practice of the recognition, treatment, and prevention of oral diseases. The dental hygienist is a preventive oral health professional who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program in an institution of higher education; is licensed in dental hygiene and works collaboratively with other health care professionals to provide education, clinical research, administrative, and therapeutic services supporting total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. Dental hygienists integrate the roles of clinician, educator, advocate, manager, and researcher to prevent oral diseases and promote health.
The Dental Hygiene curriculum includes general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences, and dental hygiene sciences.
Dental hygienists work in:
- private dental hygiene offices
- private dental offices
- medical facilities
- managed care organizations
- federal, state and municipal health facilities
- long-term care facilities
- nursing homes
- correctional facilities
The graduate will be prepared for the seven professional roles of the Dental Hygienist:
- Public Health
The curriculum in the Dental Hygiene program consists of six quarters of professional education and clinical experience preceded by a demanding program of prerequisite courses. A Bachelor of Applied Science degree in dental hygiene is earned upon graduation.
The YVC program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “Approval without Reporting Requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.
Upon successful completion of this program the student should be:
- Prepared for the full scope of dental hygiene practice in Washington State.
- Able to conduct professional activities and develop professional relationships in responsible ways.
- Able to make appropriate decisions and actions as health care providers guided by ethical principles and core values.
- Eligible to take Regional Examination Boards.
- Eligible to apply for Master’s degree programs.
The profession of dental hygiene is an excellent career choice for anyone interested in providing excellent oral patient care. Upon completion of the program, the entry-level dental hygiene graduate will be prepared for the full scope of dental hygiene practice in Washington State.
For more information on employment trends, contact the Washington State Employment Security Department at www.esd.wa.gov. Additional information is available at www.wa.gov.
A limited number of student positions are available in the Dental Hygiene program.
To be eligible for selection consideration, eight prerequisite courses (to include five Natural Science prerequisite courses) must be completed by the end of winter quarter of the year of application. After program application, selection is based on cumulative GPA in Dental Hygiene prerequisite courses (historically, above a 3.5 GPA), number of prerequisite courses completed, dental experience and education, ability in a second language, and appropriate standardized tests.
Dental Hygiene students must possess skills essential to performing dental hygiene functions as outlined in the Dental Hygiene application information.
The selection process is reviewed each year. For up-to-date selection information, refer to the Dental Hygiene application information at www.yvcc.edu/bachelors.
Completion of prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission into the Dental Hygiene program.
Admission with advanced standing is not offered.
Application forms and all required records listed below must be uploaded to the ADEA DH Centralized Application Service by 11:59 pm EST on the first Friday in February for an applicant to be considered for fall entry. Each applicant must meet all college admissions requirements and follow all college policies and procedures.
Any student that has not attended YVC in the past 12 months must also apply to Yakima Valley College for general admission and submit official transcripts to the Registrar’s office.
Required Prerequisite Courses
Courses listed are course numbers offered at YVC. Courses from other colleges which appear to be equivalent may be accepted upon approval by the YVC registrar.
A 2.5 cumulative GPA must be achieved in the prerequisite courses. Applicants must receive at least a C (2.0) in each prerequisite course (Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit grades are not acceptable). All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entry into the Dental Hygiene program. Retakes of Dental Hygiene prerequisite courses are limited.
The following courses must have been completed within five years of entrance into the program: CHEM& 121 , CHEM& 131 , BIOL& 241 , BIOL& 242 , and BIOL& 260 ; and NUTR& 101
Required documents must be uploaded to DHCAS
- Dental Hygiene application submitted on ADEA DHCAS
- Official college transcript(s).
- High school transcript or GED certificate.
- HSRT test scores.
- Work experience and observation forms.
- Personal Data Form.
- Other documents supporting application are optional.
Contact the Dental Hygiene Department (509) 574-4916 for the following required application components:
- $25 Dental Hygiene Application fee (non-refundable).
- Specific standardized test (HSRT) as required by the department.
- Second language verification, (ALTA Test) if applicable.
After acceptance into the program, the student must submit evidence of good health indicated by:
- Physical examination by a licensed physician.
- Professional eye examination meeting specified essential skills.
- Tuberculin test or chest x-ray.
- Hepatitis B vaccination.
- An investigative background check and drug screening are also required.
ProgramsBachelor of Applied Science