Apr 14, 2024  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 2023-2024 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 2023-2024

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Dental Hygiene

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Associate in Science

 Lowell Campus - Day, Starts Fall Semester Only

Program Description:

The Dental Hygiene Associate in Science degree program is designed to prepare competent dental-hygiene professionals, capable of providing quality dental-hygiene care in a variety of settings within a changing health-care system and a culturally diverse society. Students gain the skills and knowledge required to take the National Dental Hygiene Board and Northeast Regional Board examinations, and learn to practice in a manner consistent with the highest standards set forth by the ADA/CODA, ADHA, OSHA, CDC and Massachusetts General Laws pertinent to health-care provider settings, including the State Dental Practice Act. Service-Learning is infused throughout the Dental Hygiene coursework, including the clinical courses.

Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Career and Transfer Outlook:

Dental hygienists work in a wide variety of settings: private dental practices, HMOs, public health service agencies, research institutions, sales companies, educational institutions and the insurance industry.

The present career outlook for clinical private practice is positive. Careers outside of clinical practice generally require an advanced degree. Transfer to baccalaureate programs is possible.

Helpful Hints:

Students are able and encouraged to complete non-dental hygiene coursework prior to admission, especially science courses. A meeting with a Dental Hygiene faculty advisor may be arranged to discuss options for completing this coursework. The Dental Hygiene program is a full-time program. Students should consider limiting working hours so as not to interfere with successful completion of course objectives and program competencies. Students planning to transfer after graduation are encouraged to take humanities electives in addition to prerequisite courses.

Program Outcomes:

Graduates of the Dental Hygiene program are prepared to:

  1. Use current scientific evidence to implement accepted standards of care to individualize the dental hygiene process of care to a diverse population of patients.
  2. Use effective communication to collaborate with patients, colleagues and other professionals to provide optimal oral health care.
  3. Promote the values of oral and general health, integrating social determinants to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate community oral health programs.
  4. Apply self-evaluation to ensure a high level of professional knowledge, judgement, and management of ethical and legal considerations in the practice of dental hygiene.
  5. Demonstrate responsibility for professional growth through service activities and affiliations with professional organizations.

Requirements After Admission to Dental Hygiene

  • Students must submit required documentation of health status which includes a completed physical examination, a two-step Mantoux (TB/PPD) skin test or blood test (T-Spot or Quantiferon Gold) for tuberculosis, a color deficiency test, proof of immunization against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Varicella, and one lifetime dose of TDAP. Directions on submission of the information is included in the admission package.
  • Earn and submit a current certification in CPR at the Health Care Provider-level, which includes a hands on skill portion, which is valid for the entire academic year and renewed annually.
  • Students are expected to attend registration & orientation programs in the summer before classes begin.
  • Students are required to purchase dental instruments, supplies, uniforms and professional books.
  • In order for a student to be eligible to participate in an academic, community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, the elderly, or other vulnerable populations, the student may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check 
  • Students are responsible for providing patients for their clinical experiences.
  • Students must maintain a 73% exam average and overall course average in dental hygiene courses in order to remain in the program.
  • Students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance in clinical settings in order to remain in the program
  • To obtain licensure after graduation, students must take and pass national, regional and state licensure examinations, which require additional fees.
  • Service learning sites may require additional background checks including fingerprinting.  Student may be responsible for scheduling and paying for such background checks.  The results of these checks may impact the student’s ability to participate in clinical courses.

Standard/Technical Skills Notice:

To view a list of standard and/or technical skills required for performing duties in various health career fields, visit the Middlesex Community College Health Division website (www.middlesex.mass.edu/healthcareersdiv) or the Student Information Centers. These skills are not conditions for admission to MCC programs, but do indicate abilities and characteristics necessary for successful completion of college Health programs, and to perform the duties of the career upon graduation.

Admission to Dental Hygiene

Required  Prerequisites

  • Completion of college-level Anatomy & Physiology I & II (BIO 231 and BIO 232) with a grade of “B” or higher (83% or higher) within the last five years.
  • Completion of college Chemistry (CHE 131) with a grade of “B” or higher (83% or higher) within the last five years.
  • Eligible for ENG 101;  eligibility may be demonstrated through placement, current enrollment, or previous college coursework
  • Eligible for MAT 177;  eligibility may be demonstrated through placement, current enrollment, or previous college coursework
  • Minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA
  • Attendance at a Dental Hygiene Information Session is required.

Required Documents

  • A signed Admission Requirements Certification Form
  • A completed Middlesex Community College Application
  • A completed Supplemental Application
  • Official college transcripts (required from all colleges attended, except Middlesex Community College)
  • Three Health Recommendation Forms. Recommendations should be requested from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s performance in a work- or classroom-setting. At least one recommendation should be from a faculty member.

Admission Notes

  • Admission to the program is competitive.
  • The Admission Committee will review applications in their entirety. In addition to the admission requirements listed above, successful applicants will have documented success in science courses. Academic history will also be considered.
  • Non-Massachusetts residents will be admitted on a space-available basis only. All Dental Hygiene classes are held during the day at Middlesex Community College’s Lowell campus. Some evening clinics may be held in the spring semester.


  • The deadline for completed applications, including all requirements, is February 1  (In some cases, students may be conditionally admitted pending successful completion of Anatomy & Physiology II with a grade of “B” or higher).

Total Credits: 75

 ♦ Fulfills the Core Curriculum

Special Requirements for Dental Hygiene: Students must receive a “C” or better in all courses within the area of specialization and required science courses to remain in the program. Students are eligible to take the National Board Examination following the completion of the program. Additional coursework may be required based on college placement testing. Students are urged to meet with their academic advisor for proper course sequencing. Science courses being applied to this program must have been completed within five years of entering the program.

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