May 21, 2024  
Yakima Valley College Catalog 2017-2018 
Yakima Valley College Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene

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See the bachelor of applied science degree section for more information on YVC’s dental hygiene degree.

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 educational, clinical research, administrative, and therapeutic services supporting total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. In practice, 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; hospitals; managed care organizations; federal, state, and municipal health facilities; long-term care facilities; nursing homes; correctional facilities; and schools.

The graduate will be prepared for the full scope of dental hygiene practice including professionalism and patient care as well as health promotion and disease prevention.

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:

Program Outcomes

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 the Regional Examination Boards.
  • Eligible to apply for Masters degree programs.


The profession of dental hygiene is an excellent career choice for both women and men. 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 current employment trends, contact the Washington State Employment Security Department at Additional information is available at


Selection Procedure

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 Sciences prerequisite courses) must be completed by the end of Winter quarter of the year of application. Subsequent to 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 packet.

The selection process is reviewed each year. For up-to-date selection information, refer to the current Dental Hygiene application information packet or to the website at Supplemental information is available in the Dental Hygiene department.

Admission Requirements

Completion of prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission into the Dental Hygiene program.

Application forms and all required records listed below must be postmarked by the first Friday in February for an applicant to be considered for Fall entry. Each applicant must meet all college admissions requirements as well as follow all college policies and procedures.

The following prerequisite course requirements have been established:

Required Prerequisite College Courses  

Courses listed are course numbers offered at YVC. Courses from other colleges which appear to be equivalent may be accepted with approval.

A 2.5 cumulative GPA must be achieved in the prerequisite courses. Applicants must receive a minimum of 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 prerequisite Dental Hygiene courses are limited.

The following courses must have been completed within five years of entrance into the program: CHEM 109 , CHEM 209 , BIOL& 241 , BIOL& 242 , and BIOL& 260 ; and NUTR& 101  

Documents Required

  • Official college transcript(s) in duplicate.
  • Official high school transcript or GED certificate.
  • Dental Hygiene program Application.
  • A completed prerequisite course plan form.
  • Work experience and observation forms.
  • Specific standardized test as required by the department.
  • Second language verification, (Alta Test) if applicable.
  • Other documents supporting application are optional.
  • $25 Dental Hygiene Application fee (non-refundable).

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.


    Bachelor of Applied Science

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