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Allied Health

Dental Education






Board Exam Pass Rates:
  National State
2005 100% 100%
2006 100% 100%
2007 100% 100%
2008 100% 100%
2009 100% 100%
2010 100% 80%
2011 100% 100%
During the dental hygiene program, students may be exposed to hazardous materials, bloodborne pathogens, infectious diseases and ionizing radiation. Program policies are in place to protect the student and patient from harm. The curriculum provides specific instruction on taking standard precautions; wearing gloves, masks, goggles and protective clothing to protect from infectious diseases. Students also follow safety procedures to minimize the risk associated with the use of x-ray machines.
1640 | Dental Hygiene
Admission is once each year in the fall term. Application packets will be accepted beginning the second week in January until the second Friday in April. This is a limited access program.

Associate in Science (A.S.)

Description of Program:

The A.S. degree in Dental Hygiene prepares you for licensure as a dental hygienist so you may provide quality oral health care to the public. Our four program goals are to provide an environment that fosters respect for the ADHA Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct that supports state laws governing the practice of dental hygiene, provide high quality didactic instruction that precipitates critical thinking, teaching responsibility for evidence based decision making and creates a desire for lifelong learning, educates you in precision instrumentation that integrates didactic theory with oral hygiene therapy, and prepares you to deliver education and therapeutic services in your communities, while recognizing dental hygiene as a dynamic profession.

Once accepted into the program, the dental hygiene curriculum will prepare you for employment as a licensed dental hygienist. You will be expected to master competencies of the dental profession such as patient assessment, dental hygiene instrumentation, direct patient care services including debridement, taking and interpreting diagnostic radiographs, oral hygiene education, special population dental care, expanded functions, office management, infection control, ethics and jurisprudence. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the Florida State Clinical Licensure Examination.

Application Requirements:

In addition to the admission requirements of the college, the following are requirements for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program:

  1. Satisfactory completion of any remedial course work needed to be eligible for college level courses.
  2. Completion of the six pre-dental hygiene courses with a grade of C or higher in each, prior to applying, and an average cumulative GPA 2.75 or higher. (Some of the prerequisite courses may themselves have prerequisites; please verify this information with Counseling/Advising 863-784-7131 or in the College Catalog under Course Descriptions.) Laboratory science courses must have been completed within five years prior to application. 

    The pre-dental hygiene courses are:
      BSC 1085C Anatomy and Physiology I   4
      BSC 1086C Anatomy and Physiology II   4
      CHM 1020 Introduction to General Chemistry   3
    CHM 1020L Introduction to General Chemistry Lab 1
      MCB 2010C Microbiology   4
    ENC 1101 Freshman English I 3
      MAC 1105 College Algebra   3
  3. Verification from a licensed dentist or dental hygienist substantiating completion of at least 40 hours of observation, volunteer service, or work experience in a dental facility.
  4. Competency in basic computer skills.
    You must demonstrate competency in basic computer skills in one of four ways:
    1. have a passing grade in a computer course on a high school transcript;
    2. have a passing grade in a computer course on a college or university transcript;
    3. take Introduction to Microcomputers class during the Dental Hygiene Program at SFSC;
    4. verify through experiential credit.
  5. A completed Dental Hygiene Program application (separate application required for admission to the college).

Admissions Procedures:

You are responsible for following the admissions procedures and for ensuring that their records are complete in the admissions office. No application will be considered unless it is complete.

  1. Submit the following documents to the Admissions Office prior to applying to the program:
    1. Completed college application;
    2. Official high school/GED transcript;
    3. Official transcript from each college attended for credit courses.
    4. An application for the Dental Hygiene Program (applications are available in January). Applications received after the date specified on the application will not be considered.
    5. Verification from a licensed dentist or dental hygienist, substantiating completion of at least 40 hours of observation, volunteer service, or work experience.
  2. Submit the following to the Limited Enrollment Program advisor after acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program:
    1. Physical health exam and a record of immunizations from a licensed physician or nurse practitioner, and a statement of satisfactory dental health from a licensed dentist (form to be provided upon notification of admission).
  3. Florida Department of Law Enforcement fingerprinting (will be scheduled first week of class).

Selection Criteria and Process:

Entrance to the program is competitive. The higher the GPA, the better the chance of being selected for the program. Following are specific criteria that will be used when selecting students for the Dental Hygiene Program:

  1. Completion of six pre-dental hygiene courses with a grade of C or above in each course, and an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above for all pre-dental hygiene courses.
  2. Documentation of residence in Highlands, DeSoto, Hardee, or Polk county for one year immediately prior to the time of application.
  3. Verification from a licensed dentist or dental hygienist, substantiating completion of at least 40 hours of observation, volunteer service, or work experience.
  4. In the event there are two or more applicants with an identical number of points, the following criteria will be used, in the given sequence, as a tiebreaker:
    1. a higher cumulative GPA for the six prerequisite courses.
    2. if GPAs are identical, then completion of any of the additional 12 hours of general education courses (Fundamentals of Speech Communication, General Psychology, General Sociology, and a three credit Humanities elective).
    3. If the same number of general education courses have been completed, then the candidate who has a higher cumulative GPA for the completed general education courses.
    4. If the GPAs of completed general education courses are identical, then the candidate with more experience in a dental office or clinic.
    5. If the experience in a dental office or clinic is identical, then the date of receiving the dental hygiene application.
  5. You may anticipate notification of acceptance into, or rejection from, the fall class in May.

Selection Process Point System:

Cumulative GPA for the six pre-dental hygiene courses
(Maximum Points = 65)
4.0 to 3.81 65 Points
3.80 to 3.72 61 Points
3.71 to 3.63 54 Points
3.62 to 3.45 47 Points
3.44 to 3.27 39 Points
3.26 to 3.13 30 Points
3.12 to 3.0 20 Points
2.99 to 2.72 10 Points
2.71 to 2.5 5 Points
Less than 2.5 0 Points
Observation, volunteer, or work experience in a dental office or clinic
(8 hours = 1 day, 21 days = 1 month)
(Maximum Points = 6)
6 days 1 Point
7 days to 5 months 2 Points
5 months 1 day to 11 months 3 Points
11 months 1 day to 24 months 4 Points
24 months 1 day to 35 months 5 Points
More than 35 months 6 Points
Previous degree (Maximum Points = 9)
Graduate from ADA Accredited Dental Assistant Program 1 Point
A.A.S./A.S./A.A .degree 2 Points
B.A./B.S. degree 3 Points
A.A.S./A.S./A.A. degree and B.A./B.S. degree 5 Points
M.A./M.S. degree 3 Points
D.A. graduate, A.A.S./A.S./A.A. degree, B.A./B.S. degree, and M.A./M.S. degree 9 Points
Resident of Highlands, Hardee, DeSoto, or Polk counties (5 Points)

Length: Two (2) years (88 credit hours - 66 credit hours following the completion of the prerequisites, 22 credit hours)


Fall Term
  DEH 1002 Introduction to Dental Hygiene   2
  DEH 1002L Dental Hygiene Pre-Clinic   2
  DES 1020 Orofacial Anatomy   2
  DES 1020L Orofacial Anatomy Lab   1
  DES 1200 Dental Radiology   2
  DES 1200L Dental Radiology Lab   2
  SPC 2608 Fundamentals of Speech Communication (G.E.) 3
Spring Term
  DEH 1130 Oral Embryology and Histology   3
  DES 1100C Dental Materials and Expanded Duties   2
DES 1100L Dental Materials and Expanded Duties Lab 1
  DEH 1600 Medical Emergencies   2
  DEH 1800 Dental Hygiene Theory I   2
  DEH 1800L Dental Hygiene Clinic I   3
Summer Term
  DEH 1802 Dental Hygiene Theory II   2
  DEH 1802L Dental Hygiene Clinic II   3
  DEH 2400 General and Oral Pathology   3

Fall Term
  DEH 2602 Periodontology   2
  DEH 2300 Pharmacology and Pain Control   3
  PSY 2012 General Psychology (G.E.) 3
  DEH 2804 Dental Hygiene Theory III   2
  DEH 2804L Dental Hygiene Clinic III   4
  DEH 2710 Nutritional and Dental Health   2
Spring Term
  DEH 2702 Community Dental Health   2
  DEH 2702L Community Dental Health Lab   1
  DEH 2806 Professional Development and Ethical Principles   2
  DEH 2806L Dental Hygiene Clinic IV   4
    Humanities Elective (G.E.) 3
  SYG 2000 General Sociology (G.E.) 3
Computer competency required prior to graduation.

General Information:

  1. SFSC reserves the right to deny admission to you if you demonstrate the lack of required qualifications for the Dental Hygiene Program.
  2. You must reapply if they wish to be considered for a subsequent class. Each class is selected from the new applicant pool.
  3. The college adheres to federal and state laws controlling equal access/equal opportunity.
  4. You should understand that completion of all or part of the general education courses required in the degree does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
  5. If you have excessive absences, you will be dropped from the program. Excessive absences are defined as being absent from 10 percent or more scheduled class contact hours. If you have life or health conditions that might hinder attendance, you may wish to consider another program or delay application until a strong commitment to attendance can be made.
  6. An official criminal history background check is required for entry into the Dental Hygiene Program. Please be aware that some providers of clinical experience will not allow individuals with certain types of criminal history into their facilities. This may be cause for denial into the program, because such individuals would not be able to successfully complete clinical portions of the Dental Hygiene Program.
  7. For information about the Dental Hygiene Program, application procedures, and employment opportunities, please contact the Director of Dental Education at 863-784-7021.
  8. SFSC Dental Hygiene program may accept you with advanced standing, depending on space. We also recognize the State of Florida Articulation Agreement between ADA Accredited Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs. Through this agreement, you may receive credit for the following three courses, depending on comparison of course outlines to assure content and rigor:
    • Dental Materials
    • Dental Radiography
    • Orofacial Anatomy

Approximate Costs:

Resident tuition $6,898
Laboratory Fees 2,644
Textbooks 1,481
Graduation pin 45
Florida State Licensure Examination 1,350
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
   Background check 35
Total $12,453

The Registrar determines course equivalency of pre-dental hygiene courses taken at other colleges and universities. If the registrar is unable to determine course equivalency, then course equivalency will be determined by the appropriate SFSC dean.