Suggested GRCC Program:
Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences
The dental hygienist—the preventive specialist—fills a key position on the dental health team. Graduates of the associate’s degree curriculum may assume a variety of major roles in the prevention of dental disease.
Dental hygiene practice includes obtaining clients’ medical and dental histories, conducting extraoral and intraoral examinations, performing diagnostic procedures, providing complete oral prophylaxis (scaling and polishing teeth), and placing pit and fissure sealants.
GRCC’s program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the U.S. Department of Education.
Graduates will be eligible to take national and regional board examinations to qualify for licensure as Registered Dental Hygienists (RDHs). Requirements for licensure as an RDH in the State of Michigan are stated in the Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978. The new applicant for licensure is required to complete a criminal background check as part of the State of Michigan application process. Applicants will be asked about felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions resulting in imprisonment, and convictions for possession of controlled substances (including those involving alcohol related to motor vehicle violations). Previous convictions may prevent the applicant from receiving a license.
Dental hygienists work in private and group dental practices, departments of public health, hospitals, schools, clinics, veterans facilities and the armed forces. Job opportunities for trained dental hygienists are expected to be good in the years ahead.
Pre-Dental Hygiene Program Requirements
In order to be eligible for admission into the Pre-Dental Hygiene portion of the program, students must:
- Be a high school graduate or have passed the high school equivalency GED (General Educational Development) Test.
- Have a high school and college GPA of at least 2.0
- Complete the four Pre-Dental Hygiene science courses—BI 121 , BI 122 , BI 127 and CHM 210 with a C- or better.
- Complete GRCC criminal background check process. A student will not be allowed to enter the program until they are cleared by GRCC Campus Police. For additional information refer to the Health Programs general information page.
- Candidates may apply for entry into the program at the end of their junior year in high school.
- The GRCC Dental Hygiene program takes a minimum of 3 years to complete. The first year is “Pre-Dental Hygiene.” Once the four Pre-Dental Hygiene science courses (BI 121 , BI 122 , BI 127 and CHM 210 ) are completed with a “C–” or better, the student’s name will be added to the “program entry ready/waiting” list.*
- Students are highly encouraged to complete all of the nondental courses prior to beginning the second year. This way, scheduling is much less complex, and the student can focus all energies on the professional training part of the program.
- In order to progress through the professional sequence, students must earn a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in each DHY and DXX courses.
- Students must successfully pass each DHY and DXX courses in the sequence indicated in the first and second year of the professional curriculum.
- To be eligible for graduation from the associate degree dental hygiene program, students must earn a C- (78%) in the prescribed associate degree dental hygiene curriculum, and in each DHY and DXX course.
- In addition to tuition, fees, and books, there are additional costs for uniforms, dental instruments, etc. An estimated cost sheet for the dental hygiene program can be found at www.grcc.edu/dental.
* Successful completion of the four science courses does not guarantee students will begin the Dental Hygiene Program the following year.
Total Dental Credits 76
Total Non-Dental Credits 35
* CH = Contact hours: The number of class hours of attendance required per week.
† These courses must be completed with a “C–” (1.67) or better prior to starting the professional sequence of the program. They may be completed prior to when they appear in the curriculum.
** These courses may be completed prior to when they appear in the Dental Hygiene curriculum.