•  Dental Hygiene

    Dental Hygiene

    Program Description

    The Dental Hygiene Program at Baltimore City Community College is designed to prepare graduates who will be respected members of the dental team, providing direct patient care under the general supervision of a dentist, in the education and prevention of oral disease. Acquisition of Dental Hygiene Competency is developed through a combination of college-based lectures and laboratories as well as direct involvement with patient care at the on-site Dental Hygiene Clinic on the Liberty Campus as well as external health care agencies. Successful completion of all courses in the program, including any necessary remedial coursework, will lead to the award of an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.

    Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Board Examination, Commission on Dental Competency and Assessment (CDCA) formerly, North East Region Board Examination (NERB) for the title Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). Through articulation with several area colleges and universities students may continue their studies to pursue the Bachelor's and/or Master's degree. BCCC's Dental Hygiene Program provides an exceptional opportunity for students interested in immediate entry into the Dental Hygiene and who also have the goal of furthering their education and professional advancement.

    By law, the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners may deny licensure for a variety of reasons. These include conviction of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude if the nature of the offense bears directly on the fitness of the person to practice Dental Hygiene.

    The Dental Hygiene Program is accredited through the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation with the status of "Approval (without reporting requirements)." This accreditation classification is granted to an educational program indicating that the program achieves or exceeds the basic requirements for the accreditation period granted. 

    The vision of the Dental Hygiene Program at Baltimore City Community College strives to be the leader in the state of Maryland that produces quality Dental Hygienists, who will impact future trends in Dental Hygiene practice and add value to their own lives as well as the health care community.

    The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program at Baltimore City Community College is to provide an accessible and affordable quality education in dental hygiene patient care to a diverse student population within Baltimore City and its surrounding areas. The program responds to the changing needs of the health care community by providing the academic, technical, and life skills training needed to produce graduates who are qualified to sit for the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and the Commission on Dental Competency and Assessment (CDCA) formerly, North East Region Board Examination (NERB) for Dental Hygiene and to become successful licensed Dental Hygienists.

    Job Description

    Dental Hygienists educate patients about the importance of proper dental care and the maintenance of good oral health. Working under the general supervision of a licensed dentist, hygienists remove stains and deposits from teeth, take x-rays, apply preventive agents to teeth, provide patient education, and prepare tests for interpretation and evaluation by the dentist.  The Baltimore City Community College’s Associate Applied Science Degree Dental Hygiene Program is designed to prepare beginning graduates to assume careers as Registered Dental Hygienist in a variety of health care settings.

    Career Options and Occupation Outlook

    BCCC offers a two-year A.A.S. degree program in Dental Hygiene and  prepares students to work as dental hygienists in private dental offices, hospital clinics, military installations, public schools, industrial clinics, dental auxiliary schools and public health facilities.

    Dental hygiene remains one of the country's fastest growing professions, according to the BLS. More than 62,900 new jobs (an increase of 36%) will be created in the field by 2018. Salaries range from $350-$400/day in the private practice dental office.

    The latest data also shows:

    • Dental hygienists earn a median annual wage of $66,570, although income varies greatly by education, location and years of experience.

    • About half of hygienists receive benefits, such as health insurance.

    • More than half of dental hygienists work part time.

    Retrieved January 28, 2015 http://www.adea.org/publications/library/otherresources/Pages/DentalHygienistsOccupationOutlookHandbook.aspx

    Skills Needed

    Essential Standards

    All candidates for the Dental Hygiene Associate in Applied Science Degree must possess essential skills and abilities. These specific skills and abilities are necessary to complete the Dental Hygiene curriculum successfully, with or without rational accommodations for any disabilities the individual may possess.  Baltimore City Community College Dental Hygiene Program required standards for all dental hygiene students are as follows:


    Convey, accept and interpret verbal and non-verbal communication that transpires between the instructor, colleagues, college personnel, and the patient. This shall include obtaining medical/dental/social history from the patient, parent, or guardian, and precisely translate and record all patient’s findings accurately in patient’s record.

    Assessment And Sensory Skills

    Visually assess, bi-anually palpate, and tactfully interpret hard and soft anatomic structures. Student must have appropriate depth perception with vision from a distance of 18 inches with or without corrective lenses. Identify and respond to symptoms of a medical emergency.

    Motor Skills And Manual Dexterity

    Perform OSHA infection control procedures (use of disinfectant and chemicals) properly.  Utilize personal protective devices. Tolerate surgical gloves, face mask/shield, safety eyewear, and laboratory coat.  Access the patient from a standing or seated position, with or without an assistive device (wheelchair). Perform CPR for the Healthcare Provider and maneuver body weights of an adult or child with assistance per clinical/laboratory protocol. Activate all levers, switches, and knobs (hand and foot activated) to maneuver the operations of the dental chair. Execute dental hygiene procedures (scaling, polishing, x-ray exposure, and/or per course requirements), and manipulate dental materials properly. Ability to remain continuously on task for several hours while sitting, standing or moving.

    Conceptual/Analytical Reasoning

    Use of critical thinking skills, concepts and judgments that are part of the standard of care for the dental hygiene profession.

    Social Skills

    Exhibits respect and concern for all patients.  Demonstrate a professional attitude and behavior under stressful conditions.  Student must be able to interact with peers, patients, and faculty in an emotionally stable and ethical manner.  Student must respect diversity of cultures among clinical patients, peers, and college personnel.  Student must exhibit a team approach in performing necessary responsibilities in all settings.

    Environmental Conditions

    Upon acceptance into the program students may be exposed to Blood-Bourne Pathogens. As a part of the curriculum, students will be educated on CDC Guidelines and OSHA Standard Precautions and Universal Precautions in DH 150 Pre-Clinical Dental Hygiene course.