Dental Hygiene Program

Career/Program Overview

RCTC’s Dental Hygiene program is designed to provide academic and clinical educational opportunities for capable individuals to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the professional practice of dental hygiene.  Dental hygienists are licensed oral health professionals who focus on preventing and treating oral diseases both to protect teeth and gums, and also to protect patients’ total health. They must take a written national board examination and a clinical examination before they are licensed to practice. In addition to treating patients directly, dental hygienists may also work as educators, researchers, and administrators.  Members of the dental hygiene profession act as allied personnel to the dentist and make it possible for more complete preventative dental services to be provided to the public.

Graduates are eligible to take the 3 licensure exams which are required in all 50 states for the practice of dental hygiene.


Coursework includes Anatomy and Physiology I and II, General Microbiology, General Chemistry, Principle of Nutrition, Oral Anatomy, Principles of Dental Hygiene I – IV, Oral Pathology, Radiology, Periodontology, Dental Hygiene Practice I – IV, Dental Pharmacology, and Community Dental Health.  General education courses and nutrition may be completed prior to enrollment in the Dental Hygiene program.

Program/Degree Options

RCTC’s Dental Hygiene program is an Associate in Applied Science degree program.  Graduates are eligible to take the 3 licensure exams which are required in all 50 states for the practice of dental hygiene.

Program Start Date(s)

General education credits may be taken prior to entering the Dental Hygiene program.  The dental hygiene courses are a four-semester sequence and must be taken without a break in registration.

Career Opportunities/Information

In today’s marketplace, there are many opportunities for the licensed Registered Dental Hygienist.  While most dental hygienists are employed in dental practices, many other employment opportunities exist.  Dental hygienists are employed in collaborative dental health care settings, higher education, research, administration, the military, long and short-term care facilities as well as other healthcare agencies.  Job placement rates for RCTC Dental Hygiene graduates are good and positions offer very competitive salary and benefits.


Rochester Community and Technical College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation.  RCTC’s Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene articulates with the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato and Metropolitan State University.

For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at

Additional Information

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Overview content updated: 2017-04-12