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Frequently Asked Questions


Why major in Dental Hygiene?

The students can become a licensed professional who works under the supervision of a dentist and performs services that detect, prevent and treat diseases of the mouth.  Services include performing oral examinations, oral cancer screenings, scaling, root planning, polishing, applying decay preventing agents, taking and processing dental x-rays, and providing patient education in preventive dentistry.

Briefly, what are the duties of a Dental Hygienist?

  • monitoring patient's health history
  • completing a thorough examination of the teeth and oral structures
  • performing an oral cancer screening and blood pressure screening
  • removing deposits from the teeth (scaling, root planning and polishing)
  • exposing and processing of dental x-rays
  • applying sealants and fluoride to prevent decay
  • providing a dental dietary analysis and counseling
  • educating the individual patient and the general public about the importance of good oral hygiene habits
  • performing a variety of expanded functions such as making temporary crowns, polishing amalgams, taking dental impressions, and placing temporary restorations

When does the program begin?

The program starts in September at the beginning of the fall semester.

How many people are selected each year?

30 students are accepted into the program each year. A few applicants are also selected from the waiting list in case an accepted student declines admission.

Is there selective admission to the program?

Yes, admission to the Dental Hygiene program is limited.  The College does not have space in this program for all people who apply, therefore a selective admission process is administered based on cumulative GPA, laboratory science grades, and standardized Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scores.  Please refer to the Applicant Information for specific admission requirements.

When will I know if I've been accepted into the program?

The application deadline is January 30th.  Applicants are notified of their acceptance on or around April 15th.

Do I have to be a US citizen for admission into the program?

Yes.  The Dental Hygiene program is open only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

What is the length of the program?

It takes two years (4 semesters and possible summer sessions).  Students successfully completing all course work as scheduled should graduate in May, of their 4th semester.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition is charged per credit hour.  There are 73-75 credit hours of required course work in the program.  Additional costs include course fees, books, uniforms, instruments, liability insurance, and accident insurance.  Refer to the current fee schedule for the specific amounts and lab fees.

What time of day are classes offered?

Dental Hygiene classes are generally held during the day between the hours of 8 am – 5 pm.   There are a few Dental Hygiene course offered in the evening during the third and fourth semester.  Science support courses and general education requirements may be taken during the evenings, or on weekends, or possibly through televised or online courses.  Refer to the MCC course schedules for availability during a specific term.

Can I attend the Dental Hygiene program part time?

No, the Dental Hygiene curriculum is offered as a full-time program only.

Must I take the courses in a certain sequence?

Yes.  All dental hygiene specific courses are offered only once a year.  A student must successfully complete each semester before advancing to the next semester.  Please refer to Dental Hygiene Curriculum to see specific course sequencing.

What courses do you recommend I take before being admitted to the program?

General education and science courses may be completed prior to admission to the program or concurrently with the Dental Hygiene program courses.  Completing courses prior to admission to the program will enable a student to concentrate on the Dental Hygiene courses once they start the program.

Will any of my previous college courses transfer to this program?

An accurate answer can be obtained once Middlesex County College has evaluated an official copy of your transcript.  Remember, only courses completed with a grade of “C” or better are transferable.

Can this curriculum be used to further advance my education towards a Baccalaureate degree?

Yes, selected colleges and universities, such as Thomas Edison University, Montclair State University, UMDNJ, and New Jersey City University, will apply the courses you have taken for your degree towards a bachelor’s degree.  There are also many on-line Bachelors degree completion programs developed specifically for Dental Hygiene majors.

Are there any things I should consider before I apply?

Yes, there are practical considerations, health considerations and legal considerations that you should review before making the decision to choose dental hygiene as a career.  Please refer to the Applicant Information.

Are there any special requirements once I am admitted to this major?

All students must meet the Academic Standards of Progress outlined to progress through the curriculum. 

What will students learn by studying Dental Hygiene?

Students will study comprehensive didactic, laboratory and clinic courses in dental hygiene and the dental sciences presented by highly qualified dental hygiene faculty and dentists.  State-of-the-art equipment is used in our on-site dental hygiene clinic and laboratories.  Students will have additional clinical experiences in local hospitals and public schools.  Basic science and general education requirements complete the course of study.

What happens after I finish the Dental Hygiene Program? 

Students who complete the program earn a Dental Hygiene Associate Degree of AppliedScience.  Dental Hygienists are licensed professionals and are required to successfullycomplete the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the ADHLEX National Examination for Licensure.

Where can a Dental Hygienist become employed? 

Dental hygienists can be employed in general and specialty dental practices, research programs, professional education, community health, and hospital and institutional facilities, as well as federal programs, the armed services, and dental product promotion.