Elsa Eccles, Department Chair
The Dental Hygiene program prepares you for a career in a variety of professional settings. The most familiar setting is the private dental office, where hygienists perform critical services to detect and prevent diseases of the mouth. Beyond the private dental office, you can find employment in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, hospitals, corporate health facilities, school systems and public health clinics. You may also work as an educator or researcher.
The AAS Degree prepares you to provide dental hygiene services to patients and educate them in aspects of preventive dentistry. In our on-campus clinic, you will provide preventive and therapeutic services for patients under the supervision of Dental Hygiene faculty.
In the traditional role of dental hygienist, training includes prophylaxis, patient data gathering for dental hygiene diagnosis and treatment planning, fluoride treatment, sealant application, radiographic examination and nutritional counseling. In the expanded role of the dental hygienist, training includes treatment of periodontally-involved patients and treatment of handicapped, institutionalized and other medically compromised patients. You also learn to perform local anesthesia and administer nitrous oxide.
Because of the high level of personal and professional responsibility required of a dental hygienist, you must have integrity, maturity, individual motivation, good interpersonal skills, excellent manual dexterity and a solid science and general studies academic background to be successful in this program. We are firmly committed to fostering your intellectual growth and to developing well-qualified dental hygienists with high professional standards and ethics.
The Mini-Certificate in Local Anesthesia and Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation provides you with knowledge of the theory and practice of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation. This program teaches you to administer local anesthetics and nitrous oxide proficiently and safely. The administration of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation may be performed by licensed dental hygienists under the Colorado State Dental Practice Act. You must be currently enrolled in the Dental Hygiene program to enter this program.
You must complete a current Dental Hygiene program application and meet all minimum requirements and application timelines. The application is available through the Dental Hygiene program, at the PCC Dental Hygiene website or in Admissions & Records. You should seek advisement from program faculty for assistance with applications, minimum requirements and required general education courses for admissions. In addition, all students entering the program will need a current CPR card good for 2 years.
If you are an AAS Dental Hygiene student, you must complete all General Education/Related Requirements.
Note: All students are accepted provisionally pending completion of a criminal background check. Disclaimer: The Colorado Board of Dental Examiners requires a dental hygienist applying for licensure to answer questions concerning felony history, excessive use or abuse of controlled substances/alcoholic beverages (within the last five years) and any physical or mental condition that may affect the ability to practice dental hygiene. Other questions asked by the State Board pertain to an applicant’s history of malpractice judgment and any disciplinary action by any government or private agency. The PCC Department of Dental Hygiene assumes no responsibility for the denial of licensure by the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners.