Last Page Visited

Dental Hygienist
Program Code: 10-508-1

Bookmark and Share

Print Program Overview and Courses

Associate Degree: 70 Credits*
Appleton Campus
Financial Aid Eligible

*Dental Hygiene students complete the 27 general education course credits prior to beginning the 43 core course credits. Core courses are then taken in a three-year, part-time sequence.

Career Opportunities

As a dental hygienist, you are a member of the dental team and help individuals maintain oral health and prevent oral diseases. Under the supervision of a dentist, you inspect the mouth, remove stains and deposits from teeth, apply preventative agents, prepare clinical and diagnostic tests, complete dental x-rays, and perform many other services related to oral care. You counsel patients about preventative measures such as nutrition, oral hygiene and dental care. Graduates might work in private dental offices, group practices, public health or dental sales.

Program Description

At Fox Valley Technical College, the Dental Hygienist program is a three-year, part-time, year-round, day/evening schedule designed for nontraditional students. It is the only three-year, part-time program in the State of Wisconsin and the program is structured with lectures, labs, and clinical instruction. Clinical courses are offered in the FVTC Dental Clinic and area dental offices.

This program prepares students for employment as well as credentialing exams. It gives the graduate a chance to play an important role in society by providing oral health services that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals.

The skills the student will have acquired upon graduation are: reviewing medical history, administering head and neck exam including cancer screening, assessing periodontal health, exposing x-rays, applying preventative agents and administering local anesthesia.

Program/Plan Admission Requirements


  • ACCUPLACER Arithmetic score of 85 or greater and ACCUPLACER Reading score of 88 or greater and ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills score of 92 or greater or completion of equivalent Program Prep courses is required prior to registering for core classes.
  • Two semesters of high school chemistry or General Chemistry (10-806-174 or 10-806-134) with grade of C or better is a prerequisite for General Anatomy and Physiology (10-806-177).
  • The Fox Valley Tech Health History form and required immunizations must be on file in the FVTC Health Office prior to first semester, Oral Anatomy, Embryology and Histology (10-508-102).
  • Students purchase instrument kit; fall of second year.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended.

Program Outcomes

A. Model dental hygiene professional code of ethics


  1. Illustrate how the role of the dental hygienist integrates with the roles of other members of the dental team
  2. Comply with state and federal laws governing the practice of dental hygiene in a manner consistent with the code of ethics of the profession
  3. Appropriately respond to a request to perform a task that is not legally permitted to be delegated to a dental hygienist
  4. Maintain professional confidentiality
  5. Obtain informed consent
  6. Exhibit a professional appearance
  7. Complete appropriate documentation

B. Counsel clients/patients to reduce health risks


  1. Select professional and home care treatment modalities to address oral health risk
  2. Anticipate how the patient's immune response may affect oral structures and treatment
  3. Determine the etiology of trauma to the oral tissues by observation and inquiry
  4. Decide whether to consult, treat, or refer clients systemic and oral manifestations of infectious diseases

C. Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings


  1. Explore the steps necessary to plan a community dental health program:
    -Assess community oral health needs
    -Plan a community based oral health program
    -Implement/participate in a community based oral health program
    -Evaluate a community based oral health program
  2. Interpret dental indices
  3. Critique scientific literature

D. Manage infection and hazard control


  1. Employ personal and patient protection to prevent disease transmission
  2. Process instruments
  3. Process treatment room
  4. Manage wastes safely
  5. Adhere to OSHA standards

E. Assess data on all aspects of patient/client health using methods consistent with dental hygienist scope of practice and legal principles


  1. Collect patient assessment data
  2. Identify patient risk factors
  3. Interpret patient assessment data
  4. Correlate findings to formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis

F. Formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan in collaboration with the client and other health professionals


  1. Formulate oral health goals
  2. Determine comprehensive services
  3. Identify sequence of appointments

G. Provide preventive and therapeutic services that promote oral health according to the needs of the patient/client


  1. Demonstrate effective dental hygiene instrumentation
  2. Apply appropriate medicaments and/or chemotherapeutics
  3. Communicate appropriate patient education
  4. Integrate appropriate pain management

H. Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented client/patient dental hygiene care plan


  1. Determine whether patient goals have been met
  2. Assess patient condition and response to treatment
  3. Reassess preventative and therapeutic services
  4. Modify treatment as needed

Helpful High School Courses
Two semesters of chemistry, biology, algebra, Spanish and writing skills.
Program Offered at This Location

  • Appleton—1825 N. Bluemound Drive

Contact Us

For additional information, call Joan Rohrer at (920) 735-2452 or e-mail us at

For additional program/admission information, View Program Plan.

Will my credits transfer to a 4-year college?

Students must follow the program curriculum in place at the time of enrollment into the program.
If you have questions, contact your advisor.

2014-15 Educational Program