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Curriculum Information Guide

Dental Hygiene

Dr. Maureen Tsokris, Chair
Dental Hygiene Dept.
Theresa Patnode Santmann School of Health Sciences


Associate in Applied Science Degree

The dental hygiene program prepares students for licensure and entry into the profession of dental hygiene, as well as certification in the administration of local infiltration anesthesia/nitrous oxide analgesia. The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and is granted the accreditation status of “Approval without Reporting Requirements.” The program will be reviewed again at the next scheduled site visit in 2022. 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: www.ada.org/coda. Graduates receive an Associate in Applied Science degree and are eligible to sit for the National Board Examination in Dental Hygiene, as well as State and Regional Practical Board Examinations for dental hygienists.

As the need for dental hygiene care continues to grow in the Nation, many new and varied opportunities are available for graduates in a wide array of work settings. Although the clinical role is most closely associated with dental hygiene, it is only one of six roles officially designated for the hygienist, which include educator, researcher, administrator, change agent, and consumer advocate. Although special emphasis is placed on educating the clinical hygienist, all the roles are incorporated into the theoretical framework and practical experiences of the curriculum. The program provides general education, as well as specialized courses in the biomedical and oral sciences.

Students perform a variety of comprehensive services at the College’s technologically advanced Dental Hygiene Care Center. Among these services are thorough assessment of oral conditions, non-surgical periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing of teeth), exposing, processing and interpreting oral x-rays, patient education and nutritional counseling.

The Dental Hygiene Care Center is in compliance with all Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA)/Infection Control regulations regarding infectious diseases and bloodborne pathogens.

As a condition for acceptance into the dental hygiene program all applicants are required to submit evidence of satisfactory health. Evidence of immunization and adequate titers for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella must be provided. In addition, matriculated students will be required to take a yearly Mantoux test for tuberculosis. Students are strongly urged to submit evidence of immunization and titer for Hepatitis B. It is recommended that students who test negatively for Hepatitis B receive the appropriate vaccine. Students who decline this recommendation will be required to sign a waiver of responsibility. All Dental Hygiene students are required to participate in the group liability policy, provided by the college, which will afford malpractice coverage during the time enrolled in the Dental Hygiene curriculum.

Individuals who have been found guilty, or pleaded guilty to a felony, may not be eligible for dental hygiene licensure. The State Certifying Board may grant a waiver based upon mitigating circumstances. Contact NYS Office of the Professions for further information at www.op.nysed.gov.

Typical Employment Opportunities

Private Dental Offices
Geriatric Facilities
Public Health Agencies
Research Laboratories
School Health Services
Pharmaceutical Corporations
Private Care Center
Dental Supply Companies
Armed Forces
Insurance Companies
Managed Care Facilities

Dental Hygiene (AAS) Program Outcomes:

  • Graduates will have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive dental hygiene care to the general population including the adolescent, geriatric and special needs patient.
  • Graduates will develop an expertise in the area of health promotion and disease prevention through assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of community based oral health programs and effective interaction with diverse population groups.
  • Graduates will develop a sense of professionalism as health care providers including self assessment, recognition and management of ethical, legal and regulatory issues, and evaluation of scientific literature as it relates to the profession of dental hygiene.

Special Opportunities

As a student in the Dental Hygiene Associate in Applied Science Degree Program you are eligible to participate in the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA) which promotes student leadership through community outreach, lunch and learn programs and various campus activities.

Fall 2019 - Subject to Revision
Liberal Arts and Sciences (20 credits)
*BIO 166 Anatomy & Physiology (GE) 4
BIO 220 Medical Microbiology 4
*EGL 101 Composition I: College Writing (GE) 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (GE) 3
SOC 122 Introductory Sociology or SOC 228 Society and Health (GE) 3
SPE 202 Interpersonal Communications (GE) 3
Required: Dental Hygiene (50 credits)
DEN 102 Dental Materials & Expanded Functions 3
DEN 105 Dental & Oral Anatomy 3
DEN 106 Oral Radiology I 3
DEN 108 Oral Histology & Embryology 2
DEN 110 Preventive Oral Health Concepts I 2
DEN 115 Clinical Dental Hygiene I 3
DEN 126 Periodontology 2
DEN 201 Pain Management 2
DEN 203 Principles of Nutrition for Oral Health Professionals 2
DEN 205 Oral Pathology 3
DEN 207 Oral Radiology II 1
DEN 212 Pharmacology 2
DEN 220 Preventive Oral Health Concepts II 2
DEN 221W Community Oral Health I 2
DEN 222 Community Oral Health II 2
DEN 225 Clinical Dental Hygiene II 3
DEN 230 Preventive Oral Health Concepts III 2
DEN 235 Clinical Dental Hygiene III 4
DEN 240 Dental Practice Management, Ethics & Jurisprudence 2
DEN 245 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV 5

Total Credits:


Once a student has been admitted to DEN 105, courses must be completed in semester sequence, without interruption. Any student who misses a semester will not be permitted to continue in the program until approval has been obtained (if granted) from the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee of the Dental Hygiene Department. Students who have been given permission to continue in the program will be required to take the skills refresher course DEN 015. Procedural information may be obtained from the Department Chair of Dental Hygiene in Gleeson Hall. 

Dental Hygiene Admission Requirements from High School:

High School Diploma or GED
Integrated Algebra and Geometry
Laboratory Biology
Laboratory Chemistry

* In addition to the high school requirements, applicants not applying directly from high school are required to complete the following courses prior to admission:

  • EGL 101
  • BIO 166

Curriculum Summary

Degree Type: AAS
Total Required Credits: 70


The nature of this program will expose students to bodily fluids and blood borne pathogens. The Dental Hygiene Department adheres strictly to the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) Guidelines for infectious disease control.
Students must be certified in basic life support procedures prior to entering the clinical sequence.
Students are required to provide their own transportation to off campus field experiences. For all field experiences, student dress must conform with field agency protocol.
Students are required to purchase their own instruments and specific clinically related supplies.
A grade of “C” (2.0) or better must be maintained in all courses with a DEN, BIO or CHM prefix. A failure in a clinically related area constitutes withdrawal from the Dental Hygiene curriculum.
Students are also required to provide their own patients (approximately 8) for clinic during the second semester of the program.
A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Examination with a minimum score of 550 (paper), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet) will be required as a condition for entrance into the Dental Hygiene program for:
a) applicants who are foreign born high school seniors and have had ESL (English as a Second Language) courses in high school or
b) applicants with secondary credentials from a foreign country whose language of instruction was not English, regardless of any coursework completed in the United States.

Admission to Farmingdale State College - State University of New York is based on the qualifications of the applicant without regard to age, sex, marital or military status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.