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Dental Hygiene Program

Dental Hygiene - Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Requirements:

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Grand Strand


(843) 347-3186

a dental hygienist cleans a man's teeth

The 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 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, graduates will be licensed and recognized as a Registered Dental Hygienist.

The programs in Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and have been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

For more information about HGTC's accreditations, click here.

For more information about Health Science Admissions visit: www.hgtc.edu/healthscience

For more information, contact:
Michelle Meeker  - (843) 839-1091

Career Outlook

Dental 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
  • Hospitals
  • Industrial clinics
  • Health-insurance companies
  • Research facilities
  • Dental-hygiene educational institutions.

For more information about careers, visit O*Net Online for an overview of South Carolina and National earnings statistics, and Horry-Georgetown Technical College's Office of Career Services for more employment, career, and professional development resources.

Program Disclosure Statement

Applicants to the Dental Hygiene program should be aware a current, unrestricted license or certification may be required to practice in the state in which you intend to reside/practice. Each state is unique in its licensure requirements. Students are encouraged to reach out to the program chair for more information and assistance with understanding professional licensure.


Specific Admission Requirements for Program
Applicants will be accepted into the Dental Hygiene program by completing a weighted admission form. Students with the highest scores will receive admission to the program. A waiting list of applicants will not be maintained for future admission. An applicant who receives notification that he/she was not admitted to the program must resubmit the Dental Hygiene Application by the program application deadline date to be considered for admission to the next available class. Weighted admission forms are available on the Health Science web page.

  • Criminal Background Check prior to acceptance and repeated annually. Felony or misdemeanor convictions could result in applicants and/or students being ineligible for licensure following completion of the program.
  • Urine Drug Screening prior to acceptance and repeated annually.
  • Submit a Health Sciences Division Student Health Record Form indicating the candidate has the ability to perform the physical tasks required in the program prior to second semester
  • Complete the Dental Hygiene Checklist for Admissions.
  • Complete 15 hours of clinical observation observing a practicing dental hygienist in a private dental office. Forms must be completed by the supervising dentist/dental hygienist verifying observations. Forms will be mailed to the student after completion of the online Dental Hygiene Information Session.
  • Proof of CPR certification for Health Care Providers prior to and throughout curriculum
  • Review and acknowledge the Technical Standards of the Dental Sciences Department
  • Completion of the four prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or higher and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher: BIO 210 Anatomy Physiology I, CHM 105 General, Organic and Biochemistry, MAT 101 Beginning Algebra, and ENG 101 English Composition I. Some of these courses may have time limits, so please refer to the transfer credit limit section in the catalog.
  • May not have more than two unsuccessful attempts in a Dental Hygiene curriculum General Education course.
  • Payment of a non-refundable tuition deposit.
  • All applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of admission to the program.

Course Sequence and Progression Requirements

A minimum grade of "C" or better is required for all DHG-prefixed courses for progression and graduation. Grades below "C" are considered course failures. Failure of one Dental Hygiene course will result in the student being dropped from the curriculum with eligibility for readmission the next time the course is offered. Readmission will be on a space available basis and the student will also be required to meet all admission requirements for readmission.The Dental Hygiene Program does not currently accept advanced placement students. All courses with a DHG prefix, as well as AHS 113, are reserved for Dental Hygiene majors.

Curriculum Sequence

First Semester - Fall    
AHS 113 Head and Neck Anatomy 1
BIO 211 Anatomy Physiology II 4
BIO 225 Microbiology 4
DHG 125 Tooth Morphology and Histology 2
DHG 151 Dental Hygiene Principles 5
  TOTAL 16
Second Semester - Spring    
DHG 121 Dental Radiography 3
DHG 141 Periodontology 2
DHG 165 Clinical Dental Hygiene I 5
DHG 243 Nutrition 2
SPC 205 Public Speaking 3
  TOTAL 15
Third Semester - Summer    
DHG 175 Clinical Dental Hygiene II 5
DHG 239 Dental Assisting for Dental Hygienists 2
PSY 201 General Psychology 3
  TOTAL 10
Fourth Semester - Fall    
DHG 140 General and Oral Pathology 2
DHG 143 Dental Pharmacology 2
DHG 230 Public Health Dentistry 3
DHG 241 Integrated Dental Hygiene I 1
DHG 255 Clinical Dental Hygiene III 5
  TOTAL 13
Fifth Semester - Spring    
DHG 242 Integrated Dental Hygiene II 1
DHG 265 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV 5
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology 3
Humanities**   3
  TOTAL 12

Total Credit Hours


*Students interested in transferring to a senior institution to complete a bachelor's degree may elect to take the following courses: MAT 110 in lieu of MAT 101 and CHM 110 in lieu of CHM 105. Please note that BIO 210 has a prerequisite of BIO 112, BIO 101 or CHM 110. It is the responsibility of students who plan to transfer to verify the transferability of credits and other transfer issues with the receiving institution prior to enrolling in classes at HGTC.

**Humanities: ART 101, HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 201, HIS 202, PHI 101, PHI 110, MUS 105.