Feb 15, 2019  
2017-2018 College Catalog 
2017-2018 College Catalog

Dental Hygiene (A.S.)

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The Associate in Science degree is a two-year dental hygiene program WITH one year of prerequisite courses, totaling three years of study. The student may achieve this course of study in the following two ways:

  • Attend Mount Ida College for two years for the dental hygiene courses (second and third years) and transfer the first year of study prerequisite courses from another college(s). (See Transfer Policy*)


  • Attend Mount Ida College for all three years, the first year as a pre-dental hygiene student. With the successful completion of the first-year courses, the student is eligible for consideration to transferred into the dental hygiene full-time program for the second and third years. Accepted students into the Pre-Dental Hygiene program and who successfully complete those courses have priority for admittance into the AS and BSDH programs over external applicants.

The curriculum includes content in the following four areas: general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and dental hygiene science. The basic clinical education aspect of the curriculum includes a formal course sequence in scientific principles of dental hygiene practice, which extends throughout the curriculum and is coordinated and integrated with clinical experience in providing dental hygiene services. The Dental Hygiene Program is designed for the student to learn didactic concepts and integrate those concepts into the clinical setting.


*Transfer Policy
Transfer credit may be awarded for general education courses in the Dental Hygiene Program and in any baccalaureate program to which the student may advance. Transfer credit for dental hygiene courses will be reviewed on an individual basis by the registrar. Applicants are bound by the transfer policy published in the College Catalog and the Dental Hygiene Information Packet.



  • C1 Graduates will demonstrate competence in all courses required for the Associate in Science in dental hygiene.
  • C2 Graduates will be able to apply knowledge and application of ethical standards, regulatory requirements, health and safety standards and the provisions of state and federal regulations.
  • C3 Graduates will be able to apply evidence-based decision making into the dental hygiene process of care.
  • C4 Graduates will advocate for access to care and effective oral health care for the underserved populations.
  • C5 Graduates will be able to promote the values of the DH profession through service-based activities, positive community affiliations, and active involvement in professional organizations and related activities.
  • C6 Graduates will be able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs.
  • C7 Graduates will be able to apply basic and advanced principles of dental hygiene during comprehensive dental hygiene process of care to diverse populations, including the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric, special needs and medically compromised patients.
  • C8 Graduates will be able to utilize information technology to assist in evaluation of current scientific literature, evidence-based decision making and patient record management.
  • C9 Graduates will be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • C10 Graduates will pursue higher education and career opportunities within health care, industry, education, research and public health.



Policies, Conditions, and/or Fees

Accreditation Information

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredits the Dental Hygiene Program.

Transfer Policy

Transfer credit may be awarded for general education courses in the Dental Hygiene Program and in any baccalaureate program to which the student may advance. Transfer credit for dental hygiene courses will be reviewed on an individual basis by the registrar. Applicants are bound by the transfer policy published in the College Catalog and the Dental Hygiene Information Packet.

Enrollment Status in the Dental Hygiene Program

It is mandatory that students enrolled in the Dental Hygiene Program be full-time students. Each semester must be taken in sequence without interruption in order to articulate classroom instruction with the clinical training. Many courses in the curriculum are built upon and dependent on a foundation that is established in prior courses. For this reason, no student shall assume the liberty of withdrawing or postponing any course in the curriculum without consultation and prior approval from the Department Chair of the Dental Hygiene Program. Successfully completion of all prerequisite courses is required prior to acceptance into the AS or BSDH programs.

Technical Standards

The practice of Dental Hygiene can be physically demanding. Students should be in good physical condition and be able to perform the following essential functional requirements:

Motor Skills
• Perform CPR.
• Lift and carry up to ten pounds.
• Retrieve dental supplies from storage areas at different heights.
• Reach overhead equipment to a height of five feet.
• Rotate and reach laterally, standing or sitting.
• Perform for a prolonged period without breaks, e.g., typical shift of eight hours.
• Manipulate mechanical and patient care equipment, i.e., dials, switches, push buttons, keyboards, syringes, and blood pressure equipment.
• Maneuver in tight quarters, common to dental offices.
• Use dental instruments with precision and control in confined areas.
• Pick up items of very small and varying diameters.
• Wear protective equipment such as surgical gloves, lab coats, face masks, face shields, and protective eyewear.
• Function in an environment where latex is present.
• Exhibit sufficient motor function to examine a patient diagnostically.
• Carry out OSHA infection control procedures using cleaners and chemicals.

Sensory Skills
• Differentiate among subtle shades of gray used in radiographic image formation.
• Discern changes in color, texture, and shape of oral tissue.
• Respond to requests and direction.
• Perceive and interpret tactile vibrations appropriately.
• Elicit information from a patient by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic modalities.
• Observe demonstrations at a distance and close at hand.
• Have appropriate depth perception from a distance of 18 inches with or without corrective lenses and be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships.

Intellectual Skills
• Integrate, analyze, evaluate and synthesize data.
• Possess the intellectual abilities required to carry out reasoning, analysis, problem-solving, critical thinking, and self-evaluation.
• Effectively communicate (verbally and in writing) with patients, faculty, and team members in English.
• Be aware of possible exposure to hazards such as dental materials, radiation, blood and body fluids.

Behavioral Skills
Students should possess the emotional health and mental stability necessary to:
• Demonstrate respect and caring for patients, peers, staff, and faculty in a professional and ethical manner
• Demonstrate respect for the diversity of cultures among patients, college personnel and peers
• Demonstrate a team approach in carrying out responsibilities in all settings
• Endure physically-taxing workloads
• Function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments
• Be able to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior
• Demonstrate collegiality among faculty, staff and peers
• Exercise good judgment
• Respect the confidentiality of patient privacy

Program Dismissal Policy

Students can be dismissed from the Dental Hygiene Program for failure to progress academically, violation of the student and professional code of ethics and conduct, and academic dishonesty.

All students must earn a minimum grade of “C” (73%) in all dental hygiene (DH) courses. All students must submit a petition in writing (see Requests for re-admission section below) to the Dental Hygiene Department Chair to re-take any dental hygiene course. Students may only retake a course one time.

In addition, a student who does not exhibit the knowledge, behavior, attitude, ethics or skills deemed necessary for the health, safety and welfare of patients will be dismissed. Any academic dishonesty will cause the student to be subject to automatic dismissal. The Office of Academic Affairs, the School Dean, and the Dental Hygiene Department Chair will review the standing of any Dental Hygiene student whose record and/or performance may indicate non-continuance in or termination from the Dental Hygiene Program. The Review Board may drop a student from the Program whenever the academic and/or clinical performance or egregious behavior of the student warrants such action. A student who has been academically dismissed from the College must follow College-wide reinstatement policies and petition procedures.

Requests for readmission to the Dental Hygiene Program will be considered only after the lapse of at least one semester and only when the student provides evidence that indicates probable success, should readmission be granted. Requests for readmission to the Dental Hygiene Program must be made in writing to the Dental Hygiene Department Chair at least six (6) weeks before the opening of the semester and must include evidence supporting the student’s belief that she/he will succeed if readmitted. The curricular requirements for readmission to the Dental Hygiene Program will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The maximum number of students in any class is 36, therefore, readmittance also includes space availability.

Students who elect to leave the Dental Hygiene Program must, in accordance with the Withdrawal, Leave of Absence and Reactivation Policy published in this Catalog, reapply to the College and to the Dental Hygiene Program and must adhere to the Dental Hygiene policies and requirements in effect at the time of readmission.

Clinic Participation

Students are expected to attend each assigned clinic session and external clinic. If a student is ill or will be absent for any reason, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the business office and course director. It is also the student’s responsibility to cancel his/her patients. The Commission of Dental Accreditation (CODA) mandates a specific number of pre-clinical and clinical hours. Therefore, all missed clinical sessions must be made up.

Before performing any activities each student must submit to, and satisfactorily clear, a criminal background check. Some externship sites also require all students to have one or more of the following clearances: CORI, SORI, and/or finger printing. They may also require a US passport or driver’s license and certified birth certificate or driver’s license and social security card. If the student does not have the above and/or does not pass the CORI/SORI, the student may not be able to continue in the Dental Hygiene Program. Each student will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Students must follow the Clinical Attendance Policy in the Dental Hygiene Clinic Manual. Students are required to provide their own meals and transportation to and from their off-campus clinical rotations. All clinical rotations are accessible via the MBTA, commuter rail, subway, or bus lines.


All dental hygiene students are expected to demonstrate professionalism in behavior, manner and judgment in dental hygiene clinic, radiology, field trips, professional meetings and clinical rotation sites. All dental hygiene students must adhere to policies of the Dental Hygiene Program regarding conduct, attire and asepsis. These policies are found in the Dental Hygiene Manuals.

Additional Costs

Students in the Dental Hygiene Program will incur additional expenses for:
• Dental Instruments
• Dental Supplies:

  • Loupes
  • Uniforms/scrubs
  • Professional ADHA dues
  • Health insurance
  • Transportation to rotations
  • Board examinations
  • Board Review Course - highly recommended

Immunization Policy

As a health professional, dental hygienists are exposed to contagious diseases and are therefore at risk of becoming infected. The National Health Institute, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services all strongly recommend that health professionals at high risk utilize vaccinations. Dentists and dental auxiliaries are near the top of the list of those persons most likely to contract certain diseases. The American College Health Association and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts require that no students shall attend college without a certificate of immunization.

Students must provide appropriate documentation, including a copy of a school immunization record, indicating receipt of the required immunizations listed below; OR in the case of measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella, present laboratory evidence of immunity:
1. Two doses of mumps, measles and rubella given at or after 12 months of age or one dose for age group >50 years of age
2. Varicella 2 doses (0, 4-8 weeks) ages 19-49 or 2 doses 4-8 weeks apart
3. Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap): 1 dose Td booster within 5 years
4. Three doses of Hepatitis B
5. Influenza (flu) annually

Massachusetts Department of Public Health College Immunization requires residential students to:

  • Receive information about meningococcal disease and vaccine; and
  • Provide documentation of receipt of 1 dose of MPSV4 vaccine with the last 5 years (or a dose of MCV4 vaccine at any time in the past) or sign the waiver.
  • Waivers are available through Health Services

Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires faculty, staff and students to show:

  • Results of tuberculosis test within 6 months or the first day of school and yearly thereafter

Recommended vaccinations include:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) 3 doses (females and males< 26 years of age)


The College cannot be held responsible for health problems resulting from occupational hazards. Students are responsible for the cost of any follow-up care resulting from exposure to occupational hazards.

The guidelines for immunization are established in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

The Mount Ida College Dental Hygiene Program tries to minimize the risk of exposure by following an Exposure Control Plan, and the Dental Hygiene Exposure Control Plan complies with OSHA Standards. These standards include universal precautions that are taught prior to beginning patient care.
CDC/ACIP Adult Immunization Recommendations

CDC/ACIP Recommendations for Immunization of Healthcare Personnel




National Boards

All students are required to take the National Boards as part of licensure. This is an all-day written examination. This computerized test is administered by a designated Prometric testing site.

In order to take the National Board examination in March of their third year the students must have no less than a 3.0 GPA at the end of the fall semester. The student must also have successfully completed all clinical and didactic courses requirements by the last day of classes of the fall semester and have no incompletes outstanding in any course and approval of the Department Chair.

If the student is ineligible for the early Spring examination the student will not be able to take the National Board until May.

All clinical and didactic course requirements must be successfully completed by the last day of classes of the spring semester and the student must have no incompletes outstanding in any course.

ADEX Exam Administered by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessment (CDCA)

Includes states: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The ADEX examination is a mandatory clinical examination for licensure in dental hygiene. The ADEX is composed of two examinations: clinical and didactic. The clinical examination is offered three times per year; spring, summer and winter. In order for the dental hygiene student to be eligible for the ADEX examination in the spring of their third year, the student must have successfully completed DH 203 Clinical Dental Hygiene III and received approval from the second year clinic coordinator. If the student is ineligible for the Spring examination the student will be able to take ADEX after successful completion of the Dental Hygiene Program.

The Computer Simulated Clinical Examination (CSCE) is a computerized examination taken at a designated Prometric testing site.

All clinical and didactic course requirements must be successfully completed with the grade of C (73%) or better by the last day of classes of the spring semester and the student must have no incompletes outstanding in any course.

Local Anesthesia License

In the state of Massachusetts, the student must successfully complete a written local anesthesia examination upon successful completion of the Pain Management course.

Ethics and Jurisprudence and CPR

For licensure in the state of Massachusetts, the student must be current and certified in “Health Provider” CPR and must complete a written Ethics and Jurisprudence Examination.

Career Options

Licensed dental hygienists are employed by a licensed dentist in a private or public setting. Many hygienists choose to work in specialty areas such as Pedodontics (dentistry for children) and Periodontics (treatment of gum diseases). Other career options include public health agencies, hospitals, institutions for physically/mentally challenged, nursing homes, neighborhood health clinics, public schools, insurance companies, industrial or union dental facilities, federal programs such as Veteran’s Administration and Indian Health Programs, military institutions, prisons, and other health programs both here and abroad.




Total Credits: 88

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