This full-time degree program prepares the student to become a dental hygienist who is a preventive oral health professional prepared to provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services to the public. This degree also prepares the student for more advanced educational opportunities in the health care field.
Students who are matriculated and place into developmental math and/or English are required to begin the course sequence in the first semester. Please see an advisor with questions.
Dental Hygiene applicants are accepted only for the Fall Semester.
IMPORTANT NOTE: COVID Vaccination Statement
Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for the Dental Hygiene program. Read the full statement: COVID-19 Vaccination Statement.
More Program Information is available at: Dental Hygiene Program Overview
Employment opportunities are available as an entry-level Dental Hygienist in private general and specialty dental practices, community dental health centers, and public health agencies/facilities. See also: What can I do with this major?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Employment of Dental Hygienists is projected to grow 6% percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations and an average annual salary of $74,820.
The job outlook is fantastic both nationally and locally here in Massachusetts.
The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages. As the large baby-boom population ages and people keep more of their original teeth than did previous generations, the need to maintain and treat teeth will continue to drive demand for dental care.
Studies linking oral health and general health, and efforts to expand access to oral hygiene services, will continue to drive the demand for preventive dental services. As a result, the demand for all dental services, including those performed by hygienists, will increase. In addition, demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow as state laws increasingly allow dental hygienists to work at the top of their training, and they effectively become more productive.
The Dental Hygiene program at Cape Cod Community College provides students with the theory, knowledge, and experience necessary to obtain competency in the practice of dental hygiene in a variety of settings. Upon completion of the program, the dental hygiene graduates are able to meet the following learning outcomes:
- Integrate knowledge from the basic, psychosocial, dental, and dental hygiene sciences into the dental hygiene process of care.
- Communicate effectively with individuals and groups from diverse populations.
- Utilize active learning, critical thinking, problem solving, research and evidence-based decision making in the practice of dental hygiene.
- Apply a professional code of ethics while adhering to appropriate legal and regulatory measures when providing oral health services.
- Utilizing risk assessment and health promotion strategies, integrate the goals, values and beliefs of diverse populations in the promotion of health, wellness, and the prevention of disease.
- Safely perform the dental hygiene process of care (assessment, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation, documentation) for all patients and community-based oral health programs.
- Demonstrate competency in the use of technology in the dental hygiene process of care.
- Continually perform self-assessment to maintain professional standards and encourage lifelong learning and a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Demonstrate personal and professional growth through participation in professional activities and associations.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the variety of career options within the dental hygiene profession.
Special Requirements for the Dental Hygiene Program
For information on special admissions requirements for the Dental Hygiene Program visit www.capecod.edu/dentalrequirements.
The Cape Cod Community College Dental Hygiene Program provides an educational pathway for students to join a rewarding health profession that offers a wide range of career opportunities. At Cape Cod Community College, the students' education is the first priority, and the Dental Hygiene Program is committed to helping the students in the development of clinical skills, critical thinking skills, and in the acquisition of a strong educational foundation in dental hygiene. Students are encouraged upon completion of the program to further their education and expertise, and to involve themselves in their professional association.
- Educate students to provide quality dental hygiene care for patients from diverse populations and to recognize the cultural differences in the dental hygiene process of care on a global scale.
- Prepare students to become competent, critically thinking health care professionals who promote health and the prevention of disease.
- Prepare students to maintain high standards of ethical conduct.
- Provide a learning environment for students that will instill the pursuit of lifelong learning.
- Provide a curriculum that includes scientific advancement, innovations, and the use of technology in the practice of dental hygiene.
- Educate students about the value of active membership(s) in local, state, national and international professional organizations.
Program Completion and Professional Examination Pass Rates
For 2017 to 2021:
- Program completion rates ranged from 84% to 100%.
- ADEX pass rates for first time test takers ranged from 82% to 90%.
- NBDHE pass rates for first time test takers ranged from 72% to 87%.
Essential Functions Required to Complete the Dental Hygiene Program
- Effectively communicate in verbal, nonverbal and written format in English with patients, families and all members of the dental/health care team.
- Possess computer skills for student success.
- Assess, draw conclusions, plan, implement, evaluate and document the dental hygiene process of care.
- Read and comprehend relevant information in patient records, textbooks and professional journals.
- Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize.
- Exercise proper judgment.
- Complete tasks within required time limits.
- Retain information and apply knowledge to new / individual patient cases.
- Possess hearing and vision sufficient, with or without corrective devices, to perform effectively in a dental facility and provide safe and accurate patient care.
- Visually differentiate subtle changes of gray on radiographs and changes in color, size, shape and texture for tissues.
- Possess the physical stamina and ability to perform CPR, lift and carry up to 50 pounds, manipulate dental equipment, sit and stand for extended periods of time.
- Possess the ability to actively participate in all demonstrations, laboratory exercises, and clinical experiences in the dental hygiene program.
- Possess the ability to act as patient during a variety of clinical procedures.
- Demonstrate fine motor skills/dexterity in combination with eye/hand coordination.
- Possess the tactile sensitivity to feel for fine differences in soft and hard structures.
- Possess the ability to demonstrate the following academic and professional behaviors:
- Manage heavy academic schedules.
- Perform in fast-paced clinical situations.
- Display flexibility.
- Demonstrate integrity and empathy for others.
- Develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, colleagues and other members of the dental / health care team.
- Accept responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions.
- Comply with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics.
- Be able to wear protective equipment such as scrubs / scrub gowns, gloves, face mask, face shield and eyewear / loupes during all aspects of patient care.
The Dental Hygiene Program provides selected individuals from various experiential and educational backgrounds the opportunity for education in dental hygiene. Graduates are awarded the Associate in Science degree and are eligible for the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments/ADEX Examination and the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination.
The program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approved without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is www.ada.org/en/coda/accreditation