Dental Hygiene - Associate in Applied ScienceThe Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree prepares students to provide direct patient care in the detection and prevention of oral diseases under the supervision of a dentist, as required by law. The dental hygienist's major role is as an educator and includes designing dental hygiene treatment and education for patients on an individual basis. Graduates of this program will be qualified to evaluate patient medical histories, take and record blood pressure, chart conditions of periodontal disease and decay for diagnosis by the dentist, conduct oral-cancer screening examinations, educate the patient on the latest techniques of oral home care, and perform a thorough cleaning of the patients' teeth. A dental hygienist is also qualified to apply sealants and fluoride for the prevention of decay, to expose and develop radiographs, and to provide nutritional counseling for dental patients.
Students in the Dental Hygiene program receive their education in a brand-new, state-of-the-art Dental Clinic on the Grand Strand campus, under the direct supervision of licensed dentists and hygienists. Graduates are eligible to take national and state board examinations. After successful completion of these examinations, you will be licensed and recognized as a Registered Dental Hygienist.
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Career OutlookDental hygienists have excellent career opportunities with work schedules that can be flexible, whether you are employed full-time or part-time. Financial rewards are excellent and the work is challenging. Career opportunities are available in the following settings:
- Private dental practices
- Public health departments
- Industrial clinics
- Health-insurance companies
- Research facilities
- Dental-hygiene educational institutions.