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Associate in Science

Dental Hygiene Program

This full-time degree program prepares the student to become a dental hygienist who is a preventive oral health professional prepared to provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services to the public. This degree also prepares the student for more advanced educational opportunities in the health care field.

Students who are matriculated and place into developmental math and/or English are required to begin the course sequence in the first semester. Please see an advisor with questions.

Dental Hygiene applicants are accepted only for the Fall Semester.

More Information: Dental Hygiene Program Overview

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Pre-admission RequirementCredits
General Chemistry I

Chemistry for the Health Sciences
First SemesterCredits
ENL101 English Composition I
BIO251 Human Anatomy & Physiology I
DEN101 Oral Tissue I
DEN103 Principles of Oral Radiology
DEN121 Dental Hygiene I
DEN126 Clinical Dental Hygiene I
Second SemesterCredits
BIO252 Human Anatomy & Physiology II
DEN102 Oral Tissues II
DEN123 Dental Hygiene II
DEN128 Clinical Dental Hygiene II
DEN205 Oral Pathology
DEN200 Pharmacology for Dental Hygiene
Summer SessionCredits
HEA201 Nutrition
BIO281 Microbiology
Third SemesterCredits
COM103   Human Communication
DEN209 Dental Materials
DEN211 Periodontics
DEN230 Dental Hygiene III
DEN236 Clinical Dental Hygiene III
DEN237 Pain Management in DH Practice
Fourth SemesterCredits
PSY101   General Psychology
SOC106   Principles of Sociology
DEN105   Community Dental Health
DEN232   Dental Hygiene IV
DEN238   Clinical Dental Hygiene IV
    General Education Elective 3
Total Credits 75

Capitol letter M to designate a milestone course Designates a Milestone course. A milestone course must be completed in the semester indicated to ensure that you remain on track to continue on in your program and graduate on time.

Applicants must submit the following credentials by February 1:

  • Completed Cape Cod Community College Application for Admission.
  • Official high school transcript or GED diploma.
  • Official transcript(s) for all colleges and universities ever attended, (if applicable)
  • Dental Hygiene Information Sessions: Attendance at an information session within the last two years is required for all applicants to the Dental Hygiene program. The Coordinator of Admissions and the Dental Hygiene Program Director will share up- to-date information about the program and answer questions about the curriculum, clinical assignments, support services and the admissions process. Information sessions are held each fall and winter. Appointments may be scheduled by contacting the Admissions Office.
  • Criteria for admission includes:
    • Satisfactory performance in the most recent educational experiences
    • Successful completion of chemistry with a lab within the last five years. Students meeting this application requirement with high school chemistry must, once accepted, complete Chemistry for the Health Sciences I (CHM109)* or equivalent  no later than the summer prior to enrollment in Oral Tissues I (DEN101).

The preferred applicant will present:

  • An overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale).
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or better in mathematics and science courses. Priority will be given to the candidate who has taken additional courses to fulfill the core requirements.
  • Admission decisions are based upon a review of all candidates.

Wait List:

Once the incoming class has been selected, a wait list will be formulated with the following criteria:

  • An overall GPA of 2.8
  • An overall GPA of 2.8 in mathematics or science courses.
  • The Wait List is maintained in chronological order until the first week of Fall semester.
  • Completion of courses required by English and elementary algebra skills assessments prior to registration for dental hygiene courses.

Additional Program Information/Requirements

  • Students who are required to study developmental education courses should anticipate a three-year program of study.
  • The Dental Hygiene program is a sequential course of study. Upon acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program, the student must maintain a grade of 75 or better and a satisfactory clinical evaluation in each Dental Hygiene course in order to proceed to the next Dental Hygiene course. Students who fail a course may apply for re-entry in accordance with the Dental Hygiene Program Re-Entry Policy.
  • Due to the rigorous nature of the Dental Hygiene program, completion of additional science and general education courses outlined in the Dental Hygiene program are recommended prior to acceptance.
  • Each Dental Hygiene student must: undergo a complete physical examination and meet the physical and mental abilities required to achieve the clinical objectives; complete all required tests and immunizations as indicated on the Cape Cod Community College Report of Physical Examination form; have completed all Hepatitis B immunizations prior to the September of the year the student is entering the Dental Hygiene program. In addition, each Dental Hygiene student is required to maintain current CPR certification at the BLS Provider (AHA) level or BLS/CPR for Healthcare (Red Cross) level, and carry malpractice and health insurance.
  • Please refer to the policy statement of Criminal Offender Record Information and Sex Offender Registry Information checks. CORI/SORI checks will be required throughout the program.
  • As in any health care environment, students in the Dental Hygiene program may have risks of exposure to infectious diseases. The Dental Hygiene program adheres to all state and federal regulations to reduce the risk of health care associated infections. Individuals who disclose the presence of bloodborne infectious diseases will be shown the same consideration as non-infected individuals and will be offered reasonable accommodation. Information regarding health status of an individual is considered confidential and protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
  • Applicant must be able to meet the physical and behavioral capabilities outlined in the Dental Hygiene Program Technical Standards. 

The Dental Hygiene program at Cape Cod Community College provides students with the theory, knowledge, and experience necessary to obtain competency in the practice of dental hygiene in a variety of settings. Upon completion of the program, the dental hygiene graduates are able to meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Integrate knowledge from the basic, psychosocial, dental, and dental hygiene sciences into the dental hygiene process of care.
  • Communicate effectively with individuals and groups from diverse populations.
  • Utilize active learning, critical thinking, problem solving, research and evidence-based decision making in the practice of dental hygiene.
  • Apply a professional code of ethics while adhering to appropriate legal and regulatory measures when providing oral health services.
  • Utilizing risk assessment and health promotion strategies, integrate the goals, values and beliefs of diverse populations in the promotion of health, wellness, and the prevention of disease.
  • Safely perform the dental hygiene process of care (assessment, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation, documentation) for all patients and community-based oral health programs.
  • Demonstrate competency in the use of technology in the dental hygiene process of care.
  • Continually perform self-assessment to maintain professional standards and encourage lifelong learning and a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Demonstrate personal and professional growth through participation in professional activities and associations.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the variety of career options within the dental hygiene profession.

Employment opportunities are available as an entry-level Dental Hygienist in private general and specialty dental practices, community dental health centers, and public health agencies/facilities.

See also: What can I do with this major?

The Cape Cod Community College Dental Hygiene Program provides an educational pathway for students to join a rewarding health profession that offers a wide range of career opportunities. At Cape Cod Community College, the students' education is the first priority, and the Dental Hygiene Program is committed to helping the students in the development of clinical skills, critical thinking skills, and in the acquisition of a strong educational foundation in dental hygiene. Students are encouraged upon completion of the program to further their education and expertise, and to involve themselves in their professional association.

Program Goals

  1. Educate students to provide quality dental hygiene care for patients from diverse populations and to recognize the cultural differences in the dental hygiene process of care on a global scale. 
  2. Prepare students to become competent, critically thinking health care professionals who promote health and the prevention of disease.
  3. Prepare students to maintain high standards of ethical conduct.
  4. Provide a learning environment for students that will instill the pursuit of lifelong learning.
  5. Provide a curriculum that includes scientific advancement, innovations, and the use of technology in the practice of dental hygiene.
  6. Educate students about the value of active membership(s) in local, state, national and international professional organizations.

Program Completion and Professional Examination Pass Rates

For 2016 to 2018:

  • Program completion rates ranged from 90.9% to 100%.
  • ADEX pass rates for first time test takers ranged from 80% to 90%.
  • NBDHE pass rates for first time test takers were 85%. 

Essential Functions Required to Complete the Dental Hygiene Program

1. Effectively communicate in verbal, nonverbal and written format in English with patients, families and all members of the dental / health care team.

2. Possess computer skills for student success.

3. Assess, draw conclusions, plan, implement, evaluate and document the dental hygiene process of care.

a. Read and comprehend relevant information in patient records, textbooks and professional journals.

b. Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize.

c. Exercise proper judgment.

d. Complete tasks within required time limits.

e. Retain information and apply knowledge to new / individual patient cases.

4. Possess hearing and vision sufficient, with or without corrective devices, to perform effectively in a dental facility and provide safe and accurate patient care.

5. Visually differentiate subtle changes of gray on radiographs and changes in color, size, shape and texture for tissues.

6. Possess the physical stamina and ability to perform CPR, lift and carry up to 50 pounds, manipulate dental equipment, sit and stand for extended periods of time.

a. Possess the ability to actively participate in all demonstrations, laboratory exercises, and clinical experiences in the dental hygiene program.

b. Possess the ability to act as patient during a variety of clinical procedures.

7. Demonstrate fine motor skills/dexterity in combination with eye/hand coordination.

a. Possess the tactile sensitivity to feel for fine differences in soft and hard structures.

8. Possess the ability to demonstrate the following academic and professional behaviors:

a. Manage heavy academic schedules.

b. Perform in fast-paced clinical situations.

c. Display flexibility.

d. Demonstrate integrity and empathy for others.

e. Develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, colleagues and other members of the dental / health care team.

f. Accept responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions.

g. Comply with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics.

9. Be able to wear protective equipment such as scrubs / scrub gowns, gloves, face mask, face shield and eyewear / loupes during all aspects of patient care.

The Dental Hygiene Program provides selected individuals from various experiential and educational backgrounds the opportunity for education in dental hygiene. Graduates are awarded the Associate in Science degree and are eligible for the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments/ADEX Examination and the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination.

The program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approved 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


Arlene Alves
Marianne Dryer, Director

Adjunct Faculty

Kathleen Bell Szabo
Karen Burns
Christine Fontana
Veronica Gaiser
Jennifer Hennessy
Renee Horton
Dana Jones
Melissa Leite
Elaine Hopkins Madden
Monique Migneault
Victoria Rice
Lauren Rowan
Lee Somerville
Paulette Zaniboni

Clinical Dentist

Cindy Adelstein
Nicole Balthazar
Kristin Sareault
Sarah Wilhelmsen

Contact the Dental Hygiene Program Office

Denise Bridges, Administrative Assistant
Phone 774.330.4371