Dental Hygiene, Associate in Applied Science

Forest Park

The dental hygiene program is a 2-year, full time program that begins each fall and is designed to prepare students for licensure and employment in the State of Missouri.  The program includes a general education component as well as a concentration in dental hygiene.  Graduates of this program may transfer to a four-year college or university to obtain a bachelor of science degree.  Acceptance of credits earned is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Students in this program get real life hands on experience at the public dental hygiene clinic at the Forest Park campus.  The teaching environment covers classroom work, laboratory experience and actual clinical practice.  While enrolled in this program, students will learn how to conduct patient assessments, perform dental diagnostic tests including radiographs, administer local anesthesia, instruct patients in dental disease control procedures, scaling and polishing procedures for the removal of hard and soft deposits, dental health procedures and more.  Persons interested in this program should enjoy working with people from all age groups. An interest in biology and the health sciences is important. Good eye/hand coordination and attention to detail is necessary.

Graduates are qualified for positions as dental hygienists and may serve as clinical practitioners in general or specialty dental practice, or as educators, researchers, administrators, managers, program developers, consultants or dental product sales representatives. Employment is available in the military, health maintenance organizations, community health agencies, private industry, and abroad with the Peace Corps or World Health Organization. This program has many prerequisites based on professional standards. See an advisor for further information.

Dental Hygiene Program Prerequisites

BIO 207Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 208Anatomy and Physiology II4
CHM 101Fundamentals of Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 100L)5
BIO 203General Microbiology I4

These prerequisites must be satisfied prior to entry into the program. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in these four science prerequisite courses.  In addition, current CPR Basic Life Support with AED certification is required when starting the program and must be maintained throughout the course of the program.

Interested in this program? Start the enrollment process by visiting the Apply to STLCC page.   

At the completion of the program, students are expected to:

  1. apply an ethical code to behavior and decision-making in all aspects of the practice of dental hygiene, demonstrating integrity and honesty.
  2. ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the patient/client for all dental hygiene encounters and accuracy of patient records.
  3. provide care that is humane, empathetic and caring for all individuals and communities without discrimination.
  4. comply with state and federal laws while providing the legal spectrum of dental hygiene care services.
  5. take responsible dental hygiene actions using evidence-based dental hygiene interventions.
  6. communicate professional knowledge effectively with diverse populations, both orally and in writing.
  7. sustain lifelong learning and continuous self-assessment in order to provide contemporary clinical care and facilitate professional growth.
  8. advance the profession through leadership, service activities and affiliation with professional organizations.
  9. promote the values of the dental hygiene profession to the public, and to other health care professionals and organizations.
  10. identify and evaluate opportunities for pursuing alternative dental hygiene career/practice pathways in non-traditional settings.
  11. promote the values of oral and general health to the public and empower individuals/populations to accept responsibility for health by adopting and adhering to self-care regimens.
  12. identify the oral health needs, and risk factors, of individuals/populations and facilitate the development of care strategies appropriate for their value/belief systems.
  13. provide screening, referral and educational services that allow and encourage patients/clients to access the resources of the health care system.
  14. identify services and agencies that promote oral health in order to facilitate access to care.
  15. assess, plan implement and evaluate community-based oral-health programs.
  16. provide oral health services in a variety of delivery settings within a community.
  17. evaluate financing of the health care delivery system and its impact on access to oral health care.
  18. obtain, review and update complete histories recognizing multicultural differences in populations.
  19. recognize medications and health conditions that require modifications in treatment.
  20. identify the patient/client at risk for a medical emergency, and be prepared to prevent, or manage such emergencies.
  21. accurately perform a comprehensive dental hygiene examination, analyze and interpret assessment data, and formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis congruent with the diagnosis of the dentist and other health professionals.
  22. identify the need for radiographic examination, expose and produce radiographs of diagnostic quality.
  23. identify dental and/or medical risk factors that require dental hygiene interventions.
  24. establish a sequential plan of education, preventive, and therapeutic care based on the dental hygiene diagnosis, using an evidence-based approach.
  25. prioritize oral health goals in a thorough case presentation and obtain informed consent.
  26. communicate the dental hygiene care plan to the dentist and other collaborative health care team members to determine its appropriateness with the overall plan for total oral health care.
  27. evaluate and implement accepted methods of disease prevention transmission.
  28. manage pain and anxiety using accepted clinical and behavior management methods.
  29. perform basic scaling and advanced periodontal debridement procedures without causing trauma to hard and soft tissues.
  30. select and administer appropriate preventive and/or therapeutic agents, providing pre- and post- treatment strategies.
  31. review and incorporate work environment procedures to minimize the incidence of occupational hazards.
  32. determine the outcomes of dental hygiene interventions and maintenance programs using appropriate Indices and evaluation methods.
  33. evaluate patient/client satisfaction with care received and oral health status achieved.

Program of Study

Career General Education
COM 101Oral Communication I (MOTR COMM 100)3
ENG 101College Composition I (MOTR ENGL 100)3
PSY 200General Psychology (MOTR PSYC 100)3
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology (MOTR SOCI 101)3
XXX xxxSocial & Behavioral Sciences: Civics Requirement3
Program Requirements
DHY 150Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene I: Pre-clinic3
DHY 152Clinical Dental Hygiene I: Pre-Clinic 3
DHY 154Periodontics I2
DHY 155Dental Radiology2
DHY 156Dental Radiology Lab1
DHY 157Oral Anatomy2
DHY 158Biomedical Science for the Dental Hygienist2
DHY 159Dental Medical Emergencies1
DHY 160Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene II3
DHY 162Clinical Dental Hygiene II5
DHY 164Periodontics II2
DHY 167Anatomy & Embryology of the Head & Neck3
DHY 168General & Oral Pathology2
DHY 169Ethics in Dental Hygiene1
DHY 172Clinical Dental Hygiene: Summer Clinic2
DHY 273Pain Control2
DHY 250Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene III2
DHY 251Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene III: Lab1
DHY 252Clinical Dental Hygiene III5
DHY 257Dental Materials1
DHY 258Dental Pharmacology2
DHY 259Dental Nutrition & Biochemistry2
DHY 260Concepts IV: Transitioning into Professional Dental Hygiene Practice2
DHY 262Clinical Dental Hygiene IV5
DHY 263Dental Public Health2
Total Credit Hours73
Program Prerequisites - a minimum 3.0 GPA in the following four courses is required for admission to the program
CHM 101Fundamentals of Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 100L)5
BIO 203General Microbiology I4
BIO 207Anatomy and Physiology I (MOTR LIFS 150LAP)4
BIO 208Anatomy and Physiology II4
New PlanGrids
First Year
Fall Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
COM 101 Oral Communication I (MOTR COMM 100)3Reading Proficiency and concurrent enrollment in RDG 030 or ENG 070.
ENG 101 College Composition I (MOTR ENGL 100)3ENG 030 or ENG 070 with a grade of "C" or better or recommendation of department and Reading Proficiency or concurrent enrollment in RDG 030.
PSY 200 General Psychology (MOTR PSYC 100)3Reading Proficiency.
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (MOTR SOCI 101)3Reading Proficiency.
Social & Behavioral Sciences: Civics Requirement3  
Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
DHY 150 Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene I: Pre-clinic3BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 152 Clinical Dental Hygiene I: Pre-Clinic3BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208 and CHM 101; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.
DHY 154 Periodontics I2BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.
DHY 155 Dental Radiology2BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 156 Dental Radiology Lab1BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.
DHY 157 Oral Anatomy2BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 158 Biomedical Science for the Dental Hygienist2BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.
DHY 159 Dental Medical Emergencies1BIO 203, BIO 207, BIO 208, CHM 101 and current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification.
Credit Hours16
Spring Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
DHY 160 Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene II3DHY 150, DHY 152, DHY 154, DHY 155, DHY 156, DHY 157, DHY 158, DHY 159, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 162 Clinical Dental Hygiene II5DHY 150, DHY 152, DHY 154, DHY 155, DHY 156, DHY 157, DHY 158, DHY 159, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 164 Periodontics II2DHY 150, DHY 152, DHY 154, DHY 155, DHY 156, DHY 157, DHY 158, DHY 159, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 167 Anatomy & Embryology of the Head & Neck3DHY 150, DHY 152, DHY 154, DHY 155, DHY 156, DHY 157, DHY 158, DHY 159, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 168 General & Oral Pathology2DHY 150, DHY 152, DHY 154, DHY 155, DHY 156, DHY 157, DHY 158, DHY 159, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 169 Ethics in Dental Hygiene1DHY 150, DHY 152, DHY 154, DHY 155, DHY 156, DHY 157, DHY 158, DHY 159, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
Credit Hours16
Summer Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
DHY 172 Clinical Dental Hygiene: Summer Clinic2Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 273 Pain Control2DHY 160, DHY 162, DHY 164, DHY 167, DHY 168, DHY 169, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
Credit Hours4
Third Year
Fall Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
DHY 250 Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene III2DHY 172, DHY 273; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.
DHY 251 Concepts in Clinical Dental Hygiene III: Lab1DHY 172, DHY 273, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 252 Clinical Dental Hygiene III5DHY 172, DHY 273, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 257 Dental Materials1DHY 172, DHY 273, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 258 Dental Pharmacology2DHY 172, DHY 273; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.
DHY 259 Dental Nutrition & Biochemistry2DHY 172, DHY 273, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification and Reading Proficiency.
Credit Hours13
Spring Credit Hours Prerequisites Milestones/Notes
DHY 260 Concepts IV: Transitioning into Professional Dental Hygiene Practice2DHY 250, DHY 251, DHY 252, DHY 257, DHY 258, DHY 259; Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, Reading Proficiency.Apply for graduation
DHY 262 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV5DHY 250, DHY 251, DHY 252, DHY 257, DHY 258, DHY 259, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
DHY 263 Dental Public Health2DHY 250, DHY 251, DHY 252, DHY 257, DHY 258, DHY 259, Current CPR-Basic Life Support with AED Certification, and Reading Proficiency.
Credit Hours9
Total Credit Hours73

*Click on the hyperlinked course number to view additional information about the course.

**Students completing a course that has been assigned a MOTR number may transfer that course to any public institution in Missouri. Those who complete CORE 42 requirements will have that verification on their transcript.

*** It is your responsibility to verify that the courses listed above will transfer to the four-year institution of your choice.  Maximize your transfer credits/classes by meeting with an academic advisor.