Dental Hygiene



1.      When do I start the application process?

It is never too early to meet with the dental hygiene academic advisor 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.

2.      How are applicants selected into the program?

Based on the pool of applicants in a given year, the dental hygiene program utilizes a defined point system to order rank candidates from highest to lowest to identify qualified individuals until all seats are filled. There are no personal interviews.

3.      What is the application deadline?

Typically, the application deadline is February 15th for admission to the program start of August. Pre-Requisite courses can be in progress when submitting an application. No applications submitted after the deadline date will be considered.

4.      When will I be notified if I’ve been accepted into the dental hygiene program?

Applicants who have been granted admission into the program will receive an email acceptance to their SLCC bruinmail. The candidate is given two weeks to confirm their attendance.  In the event additional seats are available, the next order 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.

5.      What is a dental hygienist and what career path is available following graduation?

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.

6.      Is this career path right for me?

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 the 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.

7.      What are the courses of study for the dental hygiene program?

The dental hygiene curriculum is a comprehensive challenging curriculum encompassing science-based theory classes, laboratory and clinical experiences. Students must achieve a minimum 75% ("C" grade or higher) in order to pass all classes. 

8.      Is there a sequence of courses that must be followed?

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



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


DH1140     Dental   Materials*

DH1150     Dental   Mat. Lab*

DH1400     DH   Theory II*

DH1410     Clinical   DH II*

DH1540     Pharmacology

DH1640     Comp.   Patient


DH2050     Gen.   & Oral  Pathology

DH2200     DH   Theory III*

DH2210     Clinical   DH III*

DH2340     Local   Anesthesia*

DH2341     Local   Anesthesia Lab*

DH2450     Periodontology


DH2220     Community   Dental Health

DH2600     DH   Theory IV

DH2610     Clinical   DH IV

DH2800     Practice   Management

*Co-requisites   class must be taken together

9.      How many days will I be expected to attend classes, and are the classes offered online?

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.

10.      How long does it take to complete the dental hygiene program and what degree will I earn?

Once a student has completed all of the prerequisites (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 total 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 provided between the first and second year.

11.      In the future, will I be able to transfer these credits to further my degree and earn a Bachelor’s degree?

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

12.      What prerequisites will I need to complete prior to applying to the dental hygiene program?

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


BIOL 2320/2325

Human Anatomy Lecture/Lab


BIOL 2420/2425

Human Physiology Lecture/Lab


CHEM 1110

Elementary Chemistry


CHEM 1115

Elementary Chemistry Lab


ENGL 1010

Intro to Writing


MATH 1010

Intermediate Algebra


COMM 1010

Elements of Effective Comm.


HLTH 1020

Foundation of Nutrition


SOC 1010

Intro to Sociology


PSY 1010

Intro to Psychology


Total Credits   


13.      Who can I talk to about the application and admission process?

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.

14.      How many students are admitted each year and is there a wait list?

Due to the limited class size, approximately 1 cohort of up to 20 students are admitted each August at the start of the academic year and 2 cohorts run concurrently. The dental hygiene program participates in a selective admission process to obtain 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 learning ratio of 1:8 in the clinical and lab experience.

15.      Besides completing the prerequisites, what other requirements are necessary for admissions in the dental hygiene program?

The Pre-Admissions Assessment Examination for Dental Hygiene covers modules in; Part I Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, and Math. Part II 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 at: www.slcc/hs/admissions

Complete the application requirements at:

16.      After Acceptance into the program, what is required?

Current CPR Certification for Health Care Providers

Required Immunizations officially documented

Verification of completed background check

 17.       Do I have to travel for my clinical experience and does the program supply patients for the learning experience?

The majority of the clinical experiences take place on the Jordan campus within 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.

18.      Is the program accredited?

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.

19.      What are the requirements for graduation?

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.

20.      What are the requirements to obtain dental hygiene licensure in the state of Utah?

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.

21.  What are the approximate expenses related to the program in addition to tuition and fees?

Tuition rates for Utah residents are $1,734 per semester and nonresident tuition are $5,505 per semester. Estimated cost of clinic fees include; $500 per semester: DH1060 $260, DH1150 $180, DH2341 $180. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with a financial aid advisor by calling (801) 957-4410 or (801) 957-2683.

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

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 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 and all students in the dental hygiene program must follow proper OSHA procedures and practice universal precautions.