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Dental Hygiene, Academic requirements

The registered dental hygienist is a licensed oral health educator and clinical operator who, as part of the dental team, uses preventive, educational, and therapeutic methods which aid individuals and groups to attain and maintain optimum oral health. Dental hygienists can work as clinicians, educators, researchers, administrators, managers, preventive program developers, consumer advocates, sales and marketing managers, editors, and consultants. Clinical dental hygienists may work in a variety of health care settings such as private dental offices, schools, public health clinics, hospitals, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, or nursing homes.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post secondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.  The program at the UAF Community and Technical College has recently had the preliminary CODA site visit and currently holds the status of “initial accreditation.”

The Associate of Applied Science degree is a three-year endeavor comprising one year of science and general education courses and two years of course work in dental hygiene. The program prepares graduates clinically and academically to take the National and Western Regional Examining Boards for licensure. Clinical dental hygiene requires the ability to sit or stand for long periods of time, good to excellent eye-hand coordination and excellent fine hand motor skills. Due to the nature of the clinical experiences in the dental hygiene program, students will be participating in a work environment that has the potential of exposure to blood borne pathogens and viruses.  Use of protective glasses, face masks, surgical type gloves, and protective clothing (to be decided by the faculty) is required. A professional appearance must be maintained during pre clinical and clinical sessions.  Occupational disorders may result from repetitive activities and exposure to high decibel sounds.  Advancements in technology and design in the profession are improving to minimize these effects.

Due to the nature of the work, students are not permitted to work in the classroom, laboratory or clinic when under the influence of intoxicants, drugs, or medication affecting psychomotor responses.   If a student appears to be under the influence, they will be removed from  the class, clinic or laboratory session.

Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental-Health Care Settings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be followed for students with or exposure to, infectious diseases. As a condition of participation in the Dental Hygiene Program students must abide by the University's "Student Code of Conduct," the Dental Hygiene Program's "Policies and Procedures," and the American Dental Hygienists' Association "Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists."

Application for obtaining an Alaska dental hygiene license requires information concerning illegal activity, crimes, hospitalization history regarding emotional or mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism and contagious diseases. If these are issues for the applicant it is highly recommended the applicant contact the Alaska Department of Occupational Licensing or a similar government agency in any state in which the applicant wants to practice. The UAF Community and Technical College Dental Hygiene Program application requires information concerning disciplinary actions taken at any university or college.

Some expenses beyond tuition generally include individual course lab fee, activity fees, instruments, uniforms, student organization membership, graduation pin, immunizations, cost of Basic Life Support class, licensure fees, and student health insurance and malpractice insurance for the Western Regional Examining Boards and professional liability insurance.

Once enrolled as a dental hygiene student, the student can anticipate a four semester, 40-hour-per-week intensive endeavor. Some evening classes and clinics are scheduled.

Pre clinical and clinical requirements

Once admitted to the Dental Hygiene program students are required to provide the following by the first day of class:

Associate of Applied Science, Dental Hygiene
Description and Outcomes

This degree program prepares students to pass the American Dental Association (ADA) National  Dental Hygiene Board examination (written examination) and the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) clinical examination and the WREB Anesthesia Examination (written and clinical) so that they are able to work in the dental hygiene field.  At the completion of the program, students are able to demonstrate:

Admission Requirements

Application Procedure:

To be considered for admission, the application process must be completed by May for acceptance into the program beginning in the fall of the same year:

Advising: Student should contact the Dental Hygiene Program advisor for details.

Academic Progress: Students must earn at least 75 percent or higher in each dental hygiene course.

Graduation Requirements: Students must complete the following graduation requirements:

General University Requirements


Fall Semester 1st year                      (18 credits)
  HLTH F150 and HLTH F150 L Dental Radiography
  DH F 111 Dental Embryology, Histology, and Anatomy
  DH F 112 Techniques I for Dental Hygienists
  DH F 114 Anatomy of the Orofacial Structures
  *HLTH F 203 Science of Nutrition
*Due to a heavy credit load, it is strongly recommended that the nutrition course be taken prior to formal admission into the Dental Hygiene program.  
Spring Semester 1st year                  (13 credits)  
  DH F 121 Periodontics II 2
  DH F 122 Techniques II for Dental Hygienists 4
  DH F 165 Pharmacology for Dental Hygienists 2
  DH F 181 Clinical Practicum I
  DH F 182 Clinical Seminar I      1
Fall Semester 2nd year                     (16 credits)  
  DH F 211 Current Periodontal Therapies 2
  DH F 212 Techniques III for Dental Hygienists 3
  DH F 214 Pathology of the Oral Tissues 2
  DH F 283 Clinical Practicum II 5
  DH F 284 Clinical Seminar II 1
  DH F 310 Oral Pain Control 3
Spring Semester 2nd year                (10 credits)  
  DH F224 Principles of Dental Health 3
  DH F 285 Clinical Practicum III 6
  DH F 286 Clinical Seminar III 1
Students must maintain a 75 percent in each dental hygiene course.  

Contact Information:

Rena L. Bower, CDA, RDH, BS
Dental Hygiene
604 Barnette Street, Suite 430
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone: 455-2834
Fax: 455-2865
Email: rlbower2@alaska.edu

Alicia Plaquet
Dental Programs Office Manager
Phone: 455-2805
Fax: 455-2865
Room: 430, 604 Barnette Street

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