MLT - York Technical College

Report
IS
A CAREER AS
A DENTAL HYGIENIST
FOR YOU?
Here are some answers
to your questions!
FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
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Infectious disease transmission can pose significant concerns
in the dental workplace
All dental healthcare workers must understand the basic
principles of disease transmission, infection control, and safety
to minimized the risks associated with exposure to
biohazardous agents.
To ensure an understanding of the risks presented and to
implement safe work practices, federal regulations require that
all healthcare professionals participate in specific training in
infection control practices for exposure to an handling of
biohazardous materials.
FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
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Upon entering Dental Health Professions, the students are
given a training session that includes, but not limited to, an
explanation of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, the
Exposure Control Plan, hazard communication, engineering
controls, work practice controls and personal protective
equipment.
The Exposure Control Plan and the Bloodborne Pathogen
standard are available to all students, faculty and staff in
Programs’ Policy Manuals.
WHAT IS A DENTAL HYGIENIST?

Dental Hygienists are licensed
professionals who provide preventive
dental care and encourage patients to
develop good oral hygiene skills.
TYPICAL DUTIES
Evaluates and charts patient’s dental health
and history
 Administers infiltration anesthesia
 Removes hard and soft deposits and stains
from above and below the gum line and
polishes teeth
 Applies topical medications to teeth and
between teeth to help prevent decay

TYPICAL DUTIES
 Exposes,develops
and interprets x-rays
 Places temporary fillings
 Removes sutures
 Places pit and fissure sealants
 Cleans, sharpens and sterilizes
equipment
WORKING HOURS
Working hours range from 35 to 40 hours
per week.
 Dentists often employ hygienists for only two
or three days per week.
 It is not unusual for a dental hygienist to hold
several part-time jobs.

What
are the steps to
enrollment in the Dental
Hygiene Program?
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Complete and submit a York Technical College Application
Take the placement test or submit SAT/ACT scores
Submit college transcripts (if applicable)
Meet with an Admissions Counselor
Be accepted to the Pre-Dental Hygiene program
Work with your advisor each term
Meet requirements for program goal
Meet with an Admissions Counselor
Pay the $50.00 wait list fee
Pay the $100.00 deposit when seat is available
Maintain 2.0 GPR each semester
Fulfill entry criteria
Physical Exam
Criminal Background Check
Health and liability insurance
COURSES TO TAKE IN HIGH SCHOOL
Algebra
 Biology
 Chemistry
 College Preparatory English

What
job opportunities exist?
 Dental
Offices
 Schools
 Hospitals
 Civil Service offices
 What
salary will I make after
completing this program?
 Graduates earn $28-$30 per hour
locally and $30-$35 per hour in
Charlotte.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
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Curriculum is rigorous – requires extensive reading, study
time and good time management skills- takes 21 months
to complete
Program runs concurrently – starts only once each fall; if
you withdraw or fail a DHG course, you have to reapply to
be able to reenter
Critical thinking required on the job
Stress level – medium to high
Must be a team player as well as able to work
independently
Very interesting and rewarding field of study
MAKE AN INFORMED AND REALISTIC CHOICE
DENTAL HYGIENISTS HAVE GOOD SCHEDULES
AND EARN A GOOD SALARY, BUT:
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You might find yourself trying to polish teeth of a
geriatric client who forgot that it is necessary to brush
everyday.
Or scaling hard deposits off teeth that you cannot see
because of all the blood and plaque surrounding them
Or giving anesthetic (novacaine) injections when you
might be “squeamish about shots”
And, you need to realize there are more harmful
bacteria in the mouth than any other orifice of the body.
MAKE AN INFORMED AND REALISTIC CHOICE
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You may work on patients with pus coming out
from under the gum which gives off a foul odor.
You need to realize that every patient you see
has the potential to transmit HIV, TB, or herpes
despite what they tell you or how they look.
You may see patients, including children with
badly decayed teeth and know they have no
funding.
How
much time should I
expect to spend in this
program to be successful?
The program is very demanding!
 The program is a full-time, Monday through
Friday, daytime program.
 Between the coursework and the clinical
rotations, successful students should plan to
devote approximately 40 hours per week each
semester to
their education.

This schedule can make it challenging to be
employed full-time while enrolled in the
program.
 For students who must work, it is highly
recommended that they work no more than
20 hours per week.

How
stressful
is the
clinical
environment?
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The program can be quite stressful.
Classroom material must be retained for the
clinical setting where students are acquiring
hands-on skills to make the connection
between theory and practice. Students must
be willing to become motivated, independent
learners and accept constructive criticism
while in the clinical setting.
 What
are the physical
requirements for this field?
 Good
hand dexterity
 Use of feet to operate equipment
 The ability to sit or stand for long
durations of time
 What
type of special skills do I need
to possess in order to be a successful
Dental Hygienist?
Responsible/reliable
 Flexible/adaptable
 Good communication skills
 Like working with people and equipment
 Strong interest in science
 Able to apply principles of logical or scientific
thinking
 Able to interpret an extensive variety of technical
instructions and forms

MAKE AN INFORMED AND
REALISTIC CHOICE
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The grading scale for the DHG program for both
coursework and clinicals:
Students MUST maintain a MINIMUM grade
point average of 80 in all DHG coursework in
order to remain in the program.
A minimum of 80 is required in all clinical
coursework. Below 80 is considered
unacceptable clinical performance.
IN OTHER WORDS…
Students who earn any grade below an 80
in any Dental Hygiene course will not be
eligible to continue.
 It is very difficult for students to work
more than 20 hours per week and be
successful in this program.
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What
are the
estimated expenses
for the program?
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Tuition & fees for five semesters (in county)
Textbooks
Uniforms
Universal Protection Kit
Instruments & Supplies
Liability Insurance
Health Insurance
(if purchased through York Technical College)
Physical Exam
Eye Exam
Dental Exam
Hepatitis B Exam (Recommended)
CPR Certification
National SADHA Dues
National Board Fee (SRTA)
Infection Control Exam (optional)
Radiology Safety Exam (optional)
Nitrous Oxide Certification
Infiltration Anesthesia Certification
Graduation Fee/Cap/Gown
SC Dental Hygiene Licensure
Transportation to Clinical Sites
$8,748
$1,025
$400
$150
$1,840
$15
$944
$120
$75
$25
$240
$50
$110
$1100
$100
$100
$25
$120
$35
$150
Variable
-$1370
What is required to become a Dental
Hygienist once I graduate?
 Students must pass licensure exams in
order to practice dental hygiene?
 Continuing education is mandatory for
re-licensure each year.
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CAN YOU
PICTURE YOURSELF
IN A CAREER AS DENTAL HYGIENIST?
If so, you may have additional
questions.
 Please feel free to contact:
 Edna Martin
Program Manager, at 981-7068
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