Shoreline's Dental Hygiene Program is a two year (seven-quarter) full-time program accredited by American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) offering an Associate of Applied Art and Science degree in Dental Hygiene. The program prepares individuals for entry into dental hygiene and for the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam given by the American Dental Association as well as all parts of the Western Regional Examining Board.
Is this Program for You?
Dental Hygiene might be a good fit for you if you enjoy science, working with your hands, are comfortable interacting closely with people and possess keen attention to detail. Areas of study include organic chemistry, anatomy & physiology, nutrition, pharmacology and fundamentals of dental hygiene. Graduates generally work in private dental offices or in public settings such as public health clinics, universities, schools, nursing homes and oral research facilities.
Admission is selective and highly competitive. The program seeks motivated students who are dedicated to a career in the dental hygiene field. Applicants are advised to explore all aspects of a dental hygiene career and to work in the dental field prior to applying to the program.
Note: The educational environment contains multiple latex products and exposure to potential blood borne pathogens and that all treatment conforms to current infection control standards designated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Dental hygiene offers a dynamic and challenging career. As a licensed health care professional, the dental hygienist becomes an integral part of the dental team to provide patient care. A dental hygienist works with individuals and community groups to achieve optimum oral health. The range of services performed by hygienists varies from state to state and may include cleaning and polishing teeth, taking and developing x-rays, administering local anesthetics, placing and contouring dental fillings, educating patients about oral hygiene, and providing additional preventive dental care. Opportunities for part-time work and flexible schedules are common and salaries are high, making dental hygiene an exceptional career choice.
In addition to treating patients directly, dental hygienists may also work as educators,
researchers, administrators, and in business. Positions are available in various settings,
in the United States and abroad. Clinical dental hygienists may work in a variety
of health care settings such as private dental offices, schools, public health clinics,
hospitals, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, and nursing homes
or in a corporate environment. In addition to the clinical role, dental hygienists
may also work in an administrative capacity in any of the above locations.
While dental hygiene is a rewarding profession, it is physically demanding and involves repetitive motion. This may exacerbate existing neck, back, wrist, and other physical problems. In order to increase awareness of the specific challenges presented by the program and the profession, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the essential requirements for this program before beginning the pre-requisite studies.
Note: The educational environment contains multiple latex products and exposure to potential blood borne pathogens and that all treatment conforms to current infection control standards as designated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) . Confidentiality of information pertaining to the health status of all individuals is strictly maintained at all times.
Degrees in Dental Hygiene
Students with an AS/AAS in Dental Hygiene may earn a Bachelor of Science degree in
Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University at Lake Washington Institute of
Technology (LWIT). This is an innovative and new way for graduates of the Dental Hygiene
program to earn a Bachelor's degree while working part or full time as clinical dental
hygienists. The classes are held in the evenings/weekends on the LWIT campus and online.
A minimum of 61 upper-division credits is required beyond the associate degree, and 45 of these credits must be earned from Eastern Washington University. The Eastern Washington Degree Completion Program typically takes two years; however, graduates can choose to finish it in one year. For more information please email Merri Jones or call (425) 739-8273.
Earning your Bachelor's degree opens many doors for the future. Dental Hygienists who wish to broaden their options would be wise to consider completing their Bachelor's degree. Positions such as teaching, research, community health and sales representatives for private oral health product companies usually require this degree.
Group Advising Sessions
Each quarter several group advising sessions are held at Shoreline's Dental Hygiene Program located in the 2500 building on the campus.
Length of Program:
- Associate of Applied Arts & Sciences
- 169-176 total credits
- 53-60 prerequisite credits
- 116 credits specific to the program