Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is never too early to meet with the dental hygiene academic adviser to review transcripts. Completing the application and gathering additional information from the check list will take time, so plan accordingly. Studying in preparation to take the preadmission HESI exam should begin in October. It is recommended to schedule the HESI exam beginning in November, which will allow for ample time for remediation in the event a repeat is necessary. The HESI exam study guide can be purchased in the SLCC bookstore or online.

Based on the pool of applicants in a given year, the Dental Hygiene program uses a defined point system to order rank candidates from highest to lowest until all seats are filled. There are no personal interviews.

Typically, the application deadline is February 15th for admission into the program which begins in August. Pre-requisite courses can be in progress when submitting an application. No applications submitted after the deadline date will be considered.

Applicants who have been granted admission into the program will receive an email acceptance in their SLCC bruinmail account. The candidate is given two weeks to confirm their attendance. In the event that additional seats become available, the next ranked candidate will be offered a seat until all seats are filled. A non-refundable instrument deposit must be submitted during orientation day in July, or the candidate will risk forfeiting a seat in the program.

A dental hygienist is a licensed, professional, oral health educator and clinician, who is responsible for providing treatment that promotes both oral and total health care. A Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) can provide a wide range of oral health care services in dental practices and may pursue a variety of career options including clinical, administrative, education, public health, government, research and international work.

If you enjoy communicating and working with children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and special needs populations as a vital member of a preventative oral health care team, then Dental Hygiene may be the career for you. As a professional health care provider, the RDH plays an important role in helping patients maintain optimal oral health as it relates to patients' total well-being. Applicants are required to observe or shadow in a clinical dental hygiene setting for 40 hours, and complete the Dental Experience Verification form.

The dental hygiene curriculum is a comprehensive, challenging curriculum encompassing science-based theory classes, laboratory and clinical experiences. Students are required to maintain a C or higher grade in each didactic course. Clinic and/or lab minimum pass standards are established at an incremental build. If a student fails one class, they are dismissed from the program. If the student wishes to return, they will need to reapply to the Dental Hygiene program and start over. Attendance is mandatory. Students are allowed one excused absence per semester.

Yes, all core dental hygiene courses must be taken in order. If a student does not pass a course, they may not progress to the next semester. The course sequence is as follows:

Fall Semester I - 12 Credits

  • DH1050 Dental Radiology
  • DH1060 Dental Rad. Lab
  • DH1100 DH Theory 1
  • DH1110 Clinical DH 1
  • DH1330 Head & Neck Anatomy
  • DH1340 Dental Anatomy
  • DH1350 Dental Embrology/Histology

Spring Semester II - 13 Credits

  • DH1140 Dental Materials
  • DH1150 Dental Mat. Lab
  • DH1400 DH Theory II
  • DH1410 Clinical DH II
  • DH1540 Pharmacology
  • DH1640 Comp. Patient

Fall Semester III - 15 Credits

  • DH2050 Gen. & Oral Pathology
  • DH2200 DH Theory III
  • DH2210 Clinical DH III
  • DH2340 Local Anesthesia
  • DH2341 Local Anesthesia Lab
  • DH2450 Periodontology

Spring Semester IV - 13 Credits

  • DH2220 Community Dental Health
  • DH2600 DH Theory IV
  • DH2610 Clinical DH IV
  • DH2800 Practice Management

The dental hygiene program requires a full-time commitment with attendance expected 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. There are assignments and readings required for each course. There are no classes offered online.

Once a student has completed all of the prerequisite courses (36 credits) and is matriculated into the program, the core hygiene program consists of 4 semesters; each semester contains 16 weeks. There are 53 credits of core courses. There are no classes held during the summer months. Upon successful completion of all course work, graduates will complete a minimum of 89 credits and earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students must plan for 2 years to complete the core classes, including the summer break during between the first and second year.

Upon graduation, students may use the statewide Utah transfer agreement to attend any of Utah’s four-year colleges to earn a Bachelor’s degree.

Applicants must request an official evaluation of their transcript and submit sealed transcripts to the SLCC Incoming Transcript Office. (This can be completed on the SLCC website.)

BIOL 2060/2065 Microbiology Lecture/Lab 4
BIOL 2320/2325 Human Anatomy Lecture/Lab 4
BIOL 2420/2425 Human Physiology Lecture/Lab 4
CHEM 1110 Elementary Chemistry 4
CHEM 1115 Elementary Chemistry Lab 1
ENGL 1010 Intro to Writing 3
MATH 1010 Intermediate Algebra 4
COMM 1010 Elements of Effective Comm. 3
HLTH 1020 Foundation of Nutrition 3
SOC 1010 Intro to Sociology 3
PSY 1010 Intro to Psychology 3
Total Credits 36

An Academic Advisor will be happy to discuss the application process and answer any questions you may have. It is highly recommended that applicants call (801) 957-6215 to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment with a Financial Advisor, please call (801) 957 – 4410 or (801) 957-2683.

Due to limited class size, 2 cohorts of up to 20 students are admitted each August at the start of the academic year. The Dental Hygiene program uses in a selective admission process to accept qualified candidates. There are no wait lists at SLCC. As a result, the admission process is very competitive and students enjoy a faculty to student ratio of 1:8 in clinical and lab experiences.

The pre-admission assessment exam for Dental Hygiene covers modules in: Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Math, Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Critical Thinking, Personality Profile and Learning Styles. Application information including prerequisites, transcripts, core class schedule, immunizations, background checks, and clinical observation hours can be found on the Admissions webpage.

Accepted students are required to complete current CPR Certification for Health Care Providers, submit documentation of the required immunizations, undergo a complete background check, and undergo drug screening. More information is available on the Admissions webpage.

The majority of the clinical experiences take place at the Jordan campus in the innovative Dental Hygiene clinic. While the college maintains a patient history log with repeat patients, students are responsible for providing their own patient for each clinic session. In addition, as part of the service-learning experience, students must participate in community service rotations at area hospitals, group homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and other outreach community events.

Yes, the Dental Hygiene program at Salt Lake Community College is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Completion of all general education and Dental Hygiene coursework and the completion of all clinical requirements including clinical hours, patient experiences, and community service hours are required for graduation.

Candidates for licensure must be graduates of an accredited dental hygiene program, have successfully completed both the Western Regional Boards in Local Anesthesia and Dental Hygiene and the National Dental Hygiene Board. Candidates must also complete the application process from the Department of Professional Licensing (DOPL), hold a current CPR certification, and submit all board scores and official college transcripts.

SLCC tuition for Utah residents is $1,734 per semester. Nonresident tuition is $5,505 per semester.

Estimated cost of clinic fees is $500 per semester: DH1060 $260, DH1150 $180, DH2341 $180.

Students are encouraged to make an appointment with a financial aid advisor.

Additional fees may be considered in student loan aid, either subsidized or unsubsidized, including:

  • Estimated cost of books - $300 - $500 per semester
  • Estimated cost of scrubs - $29-$31 per set
  • Estimated cost of instrument kit - $5,700
  • Estimated cost of licensing board exams - $1,700-$1,850 (travel not included)
  • SADHA membership - $65

Cost of program

Tuition per semester:

(not including pre-requisites)
Tuition Fees
Estimated cost of:
Books $500 per semester
Clinic Fees $500 per semester
Lab Fees $260 for DH 1060, $180 for Dh 1150, $180 for DH 2341
Scrubs $65 for two sets
SADHA Membership $65 annually
UDA & UDHA Conventions $75 annually
Instrument Kit & Ultrasonic Scaler

$5,700

50% deposit (non-refundable) is due 2 weeks after Orientation, remaining balance will be due the first day of class

Board Exams $1850
Approximate Total for Residents* $20,000

*Subject to change

Additional Information

  • Acceptance or completion of the program does not guarantee licensure as a dental hygienist. Upon successful program completion, students are eligible to take required national and regional board exams to obtain professional licensure from the state in which they intend to seek employment.
  • The nature of a dental hygiene practice requires prolonged, sustained, seated posture and repetitive arm and wrist movements.
  • Once granted acceptance into the dental hygiene program, a non-refundable deposit of $2,500 is required for instruments to hold the seat.
  • Accepted students are required to attend the mandatory new student orientation day and pay the required fee.
  • Community service is an essential component of the dental hygiene program and all students are required to participate.
  • Students may come in contact with bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases. All students in the dental hygiene program must follow proper OSHA procedures and practice universal precautions.