Dental Hygiene

Program Overview

Program Description: The Dental Hygiene program is a sequence of courses that prepares students for positions in the dental profession. Learning opportunities develop academic, technical, and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Registered dental hygienists work in avariety of professional settings including private and public practice.  They provide numerous services designed to detect and prevent diseases of the mouth. These include oral prophylaxis and examination of head, neck, and the oral cavity for signs of disease. Additionally, patient education regarding oral hygiene, performing radiographic examinations, and application of fluoride and/or sealants are services provided by dental hygienists.  Registered dental hygienists play a vital role in protecting the oral health of the American public. Program graduates receive a Dental Hygiene Associate of Applied Science degree.

Occupational Trend: Occupational Trends: The demand for dental services will grow because of population growth, older people increasingly retaining more teeth, and a growing emphasis on preventative dental care. To help meet this demand, facilities that provide dental care, particularly dentists' offices, will increasingly employ additional dental hygienists to meet the growing need. Ongoing research indicating a link between oral health and general health also will spur additional demand for preventative dental services, which are typically provided by dental hygienists. Nationally the dental hygiene profession is growing to include position with expanded duties as Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioners, also known as community dental health coordinators. This position will provide cost-effective, diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic and restorative services directly to the un-served public. Advancement opportunities usually come from working outside a typical dentist's office, and usually require a bachelors or masters degree in dental hygiene. Dental hygienists may choose to pursue a career teaching with a dental hygiene program, a position in public health, or in a corporate setting.

Employment Trends: Dental hygiene ranks among the fastest growing of occupations. (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010 -11th Edition) Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow 36 percent through 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This projected growth ranks dental hygienists among the fastest growing occupations, in response to increasing demand for dental care and more use of hygienists. Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but competition for jobs is likely in some areas. In Georgia alone the forecasted openings are predicted to be elevated by 25% for the next 5 years. (EMSO Occupational Report). Program graduates may be employed in a variety of settings including private practice clinicians and government positions such as educators, researchers, administrators, managers, preventive program developers, consumer advocates, sales and consultants.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation has been granted the accreditation status of initial accreditation. 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.  The Commission's web address is  http://www,.ada.org/100.aspx

 

Entrance Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum Required Age: 18
  • High School Diploma or GED Required: Yes
  • Minimum Test Scores:
  • ASSET/COMPASS
  • Reading: 41/79
  • English: 42/62
  • Mathematics: NA/37
  • Algebra: 42/NA

Other conditions for Admission: Contact the dental hygiene program directly for information on program application.

Blood and Airborne Pathogens: Students enrolled in Category I and II programs at Atlanta Technical College will be performing tasks in which there is a normal occurrence for exposure to blood, other potentially infectious body materials, and airborne pathogens. These tasks will be performed in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical activities for each occupational training program/course. Students will be required to present documentation of Hepatitis B and Tuberculosis immunizations as a result of potential occupational exposure. Students should contact their programs for more information.

Additional Information: Students applying for admission into the dental hygiene should complete the pre-requisite general education courses prior to applying for placement in the program.  In order to obtain licensure as a dental hygienist a background check without violation is required by the state dental board.

Reference:The Georgia Board of Dental Examiners and/or other state licensing agencies will request documented information regarding conviction of a felony and/or misdemeanor, pending and/or current criminal charges.  State licensing agencies do not issue licensure to individuals with records of criminal and felonious charges and convictions.  All applicants for licensure as a dental hygienist shall consent to a criminal background check. Georgia state law OCGA 43-11-71.  The board shall have the authority to refuse to grant, revoke, or discipline the license of any licensed dental hygienist if such dental hygienist has any of the following:

  • A felony conviction;
  • A conviction for any crime involving moral turpitude
  • An arrest, charge, or sentence for any felony or crime involving moral turpitude where: A plea of nolo contendere was entered, first offender treatment granted, or the adjudication was otherwise withheld.

 

Course Overview

Contact Hours
Credit Hours
General Core Curriculum (33 hours)
3
45
Explores the analysis of literature and articles about issues in the humanities and in society. Students practice various modes of writing, ranging from exposition to argumentation and persuasion. The course includes a review of standard grammatical and stylistic usage in proofreading and editing. An introduction to library resources lays the foundation for research. Topics include writing analysis and practice, revision, and research. Students write a research paper using library resources and using a formatting and documentation style appropriate to the purpose and audience.
Introduces the major fields of contemporary psychology. Emphasis is on fundamental principles of psychology as a science. Topics include research design, the organization and operation of the nervous system, sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, thinking and intelligence, lifespan development, personality, psychopathology and interventions, stress and health, and social psychology.
MATH
1111
3
45
Emphasizes techniques of problem solving using algebraic concepts. Topics include fundamental concepts of algebra, equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, and systems of equations; optional topics include sequences, series, and probability or analytic geometry.
Explores the philosophic and artistic heritage of humanity expressed through a historical perspective on visual arts, music, and literature. The humanities provide insight into people and society. Topics include historical and cultural developments, contributions of the humanities, and research.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2113. The laboratory exercises for this course include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous sensory systems.
3
45
Introduces the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the development of a systemic perspective of anatomical structures and physiological processes. Topics include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous and sensory systems.
Continues the study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2114. The laboratory exercises for this course include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system.
3
75
Introduces the fundamental concepts, terminology, and operations necessary to use computers. Emphasis is placed on basic functions and familiarity with computer use. Topics include an introduction to computer terminology, the Windows environment, Internet and email, word processing software, spreadsheet software, database software, and presentation software.
SPCH
1101
3
45
Introduces the student to the fundamentals of oral communication. Topics include selection and organization of materials, preparation and delivery of individual and group presentations, analysis of ideas presented by others, and professionalism.
3
45
Provides students with a foundation in basic microbiology with emphasis on infectious disease. Topics include microbial diversity, microbial cell biology, microbial genetics, interactions and impact of microorganisms and humans, microorganisms and human disease.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2117. The laboratory exercises for this course include microbial diversity, microbial cell biology, microbial genetics, interactions and impact of microorganisms and humans, and microorganisms and human disease.
3
45
Explores the sociological analysis of society, its culture, and structure. Sociology is presented as a science with emphasis placed on its methodology and theoretical foundations. Topics include basic sociological concepts, socialization, social interaction and culture, social groups and institutions, deviance and social control, social stratification, social change, and marriage and family.
Occupational Curriculum (49 hours)

Provides the student with a thorough knowledge of external and internal morphological characteristics of human primary and secondary dentition. Also introduces the student to various tooth identification systems, classifications of occlusion and dental anomalies. Topics include: oral cavity anatomy, dental terminology, external and internal tooth anatomy, tooth nomenclature and numbering systems, individual tooth and root morphology, occlusion and dental anomalies.

Focuses on the study of cells and tissues of the human body with emphasis on those tissues that compose the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include: cellular structure and organelles; histology of epithelium; histology of connective tissue; histology of muscle tissue; histology of nerve tissue; histology of oral mucosa and orofacial structures; embryological development of the head and neck; tooth development; and development of tooth supporting structures.
2
1500

Focuses on anatomy of the head and neck. Emphasis is placed on those structures directly affected by the practice of dentistry. Topics include: terminology; anatomic landmarks; osteology of the skull; temporomandibular joint; muscles of mastication; muscles of facial expression; nervous system; blood supply of the head and neck; lymphatic system and immunology; endocrine and exocrine glands of the head and neck; nasal and paranasal sinuses; facial spaces and the spread of dental infections; and anatomy concerning local anesthesia.

DHYG
1030
2
750

Focuses on the nature, qualities, composition and manipulation of materials used in dentistry. The primary goal of this course is to enhance the student\'s ability to make clinical judgments regarding the use and care of dental materials based on how these materials react in the oral environment. Topics include: dental materials standards, dental materials properties, impression materials, gypsum products, mouth guards and whitening systems, dental bases, liners and cements, temporary restorations, classifications for restorative dentistry, direct restorative materials, and indirect restorative materials, polishing procedures for dental restorations, removable dental prostheses, sealants, and implants.

Provides fundamental skills to be utilized in the delivery of optimum patient care by the dental hygienist. Topics include: patient assessment, instrumentation, charting, occlusion, caries, emergencies, ethics and professionalism, asepsis, and patient and clinician positioning.

Provides fundamental skills to be utilized in the delivery of optimum patient care by the dental hygienist. Topics include: asepsis, ethics and professionalism, emergencies, patient assessment, patient and clinician positioning, instrumentation, charting, occlusion and caries.

DHYG
1070
2
1500

Emphasizes the application of radiology principles in the study of the teeth and their surrounding structures. Topics include: radiation physics principles; radiation biology; radiation safety; radiographic quality assurance; imaging theory; radiographic interpretation; radiographic need; legal issues of dental radiography; and digital radiography techniques and principles.

DHYG
1090
1
0

Emphasizes the application of radiology principles in the study of the teeth and their surrounding structures. Topics include: radiation safety, radiographic quality assurance, imaging theory, radiographic interpretation, radiographic need, and digital radiography principles and techniques.

Continues the development of knowledge in patient care. Topics include: prevention, instrumentation, patient management, dental appliances, treatment planning, and applied techniques.

Continues the development of knowledge in patient care. Topics include: prevention, instrumentation, patient management, dental appliances, and treatment planning.

Introduces principles of basic pharmacology as they pertain to the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene. Emphasizes actions and reactions of medications commonly used in the dental office or taken by dental patients. Topics include: pharmaceutical referencing; legal and ethical considerations; drug effects; contraindications; drug related emergencies; dental related anesthesia; and pain control.

Continues the development of student knowledge in treating patients and preventing oral disease. Topics include: instrument sharpening; patient assessment; antimicrobial use; pulp vitality testing; treatment of hypersensitivity; whitening; implant care; tobacco cessation; pit and fissure sealants, scaling, debridement and root planing; ultrasonics and air polishing and dietary analysis.

Continues the development of student knowledge in treating patients and preventing oral disease. Topics include: instrument sharpening; patient assessment; antimicrobial use; pulp vitality testing; treatment of hypersensitivity; whitening; implant care; tobacco cessation; pit and fissure sealants; scaling, debridement and root planing; ultrasonics and air polishing; dietary analysis, and applied techniques.

DHYG
2050
3
2250

Introduces pathology as a specialty of dentistry and includes the etiology, pathogenesis and recognition of various pathological conditions. Emphasis is placed on oral and paraoral pathology and systemic conditions affecting the head and neck. Topics include: terminology and biopsy procedures; inflammation, repair, and regeneration; soft tissue and dental anomalies; pathogenesis of caries and pulpal pathology; cysts and tumors of the head and neck; systemic conditions that affect the oral structures; infectious diseases; diseases of the salivary glands; diseases of bone; blood dyscrasias; vesiculo-erosive and autoimmune diseases; and genetic diseases and syndromes of the head and neck.

3
750

Provides students with a broad understanding of the healthcare system and an objective view of the significant social, political, psychological and economic forces directing the system. Prepares students to promote oral health and prevent oral disease in a community, by meeting specific dental health needs of community groups. Topics include: epidemiology; community dental care assessment; community dental care provision; preventive counseling for groups; group oral health education; terminology; dental care systems; biostatistics; and concepts of dental research.

Continues the development of student knowledge necessary for treatment and prevention of oral diseases. Topics include: treatment of patients with special needs.

Continues the development of student skills necessary for treatment and prevention of oral disease. Topics include: special needs patients and applied techniques.

Continues the development of student knowledge in treating patients and preventing oral disease. Topics include: instrument sharpening; patient assessment; antimicrobial use; pulp vitality testing; treatment of hypersensitivity; whitening; implant care; tobacco cessation; pit and fissure sealants, scaling, debridement and root planning; ultrasonics and air polishing and dietary analysis.

Focuses on the dental hygiene field and presents the fundamental concepts and principles necessary for successful participation in the dental profession. Topics include: employability skills; State of Georgia Dental Practice Act; office management; expanded duties; legal aspects; ethics; dental hygiene practice settings; and dentistry and dental hygiene regulation.

Continues the development of student skills necessary for treatment and prevention of oral disease. Topics include: applied techniques and time management.

DHYG
2200
3
2250

Provides fundamental information on periodontal anatomy, pathogenesis of the periodontal diseases, and an introduction to modern rational periodontal therapy, including preventive, non-surgical, and surgical methods. Topics include: tissues of the periodontium; periodontal pathology; periodontal diseases; assessment and treatment planning; periodontal disease therapy; and periodontal emergencies.