Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Offered through Health Sciences

@ Forest Park

This program prepares students to practice dental hygiene under the supervision of a practicing dentist. Through classroom work and laboratory and clinical experience in the on-campus public dental hygiene clinic, students learn to conduct patient assessments, take medical and dental histories, perform diagnostic tests and examinations, instruct patients in preventive dental health practices, perform various dental procedures and to design and implement community and school health programs.

Required Courses

The recommended academic plan blends general education requirements with options for areas of concentration to ensure students get the most out of their certificate or degree.


Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, regional clinical board exams, Missouri State Jurisprudence exam and apply for licensure in any of the 50 states. Graduates are also eligible for admission to the Missouri Dental Hygienists' Association ( and the American Dental Hygienists' Association (

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a dental hygienist was $72,910 in 2016. Individual salaries vary by the geographic location, the extent of the dental hygienist's education, experience and the type and size of the dental practice.

Graduates are qualified for positions as dental hygienists and may serve as clinical practitioners in general or specialty dental practices, educators, researchers, administrators, managers, program developers, consultants or dental product sales representatives. Employment is available in the military, health maintenance organizations, community health agencies, private industry and abroad with the Peace Corps, the World Health Organization and private organization mission trips.


The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements"]. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is:

Prior to starting the program:

  • Background check and Compliance Tracker - $100
  • CPR Certification (AHA Basic Life Support) - $ 75

First Year; Fall Semester 2018:

  • Scrubs, shoes and socks - $400
  • First semester instrument, equipment and supply kits A, B, C and D - $2,000
  • Books - $1,000
  • In-district tuition fall and spring semester for a total of 16 credits - $1,848

First Year; Spring Semester 2019:

  • Second semester instrument, equipment and supply kits E, F and G - $1,800
  • Replaceable supplies - $200
  • Books - $500
  • Loupes with headlamp - $1,400
  • In-district tuition fall and spring semester for a total of 16 credits - $1,848
  • Mandatory American Dental Hygiene Association student membership - $65

Second Year

  • Advanced Instrumentation Kit and disposable supplies - $1,000
  • Books - $400
  • In-district tuition, summer, fall and spring semesters for total a of 26 credits - $3,003
  • Mandatory American Dental Hygiene Association student membership - $65
  • Spring semester second year has degree culmination and testing expenses.
    They are approximately as follows:
    • Pin purchase - $50
    • National Boards Dental Hygiene Exam application fee - $450
    • CRDTS application fee (clinical boards) - $995
    • Missouri Dental Board Juris Prudence Exam fee - $155
    • License application fee (varies by state) average fee - $200
    • Transcript fee per request (needed for licensure) - $5

TOTAL = $18,009

(Please note that the tuition calculation based on in-district rate of $115.5 per credit. Out of district tuition is $164.50 per credit. Out of State tuition is $225.50 per credit. All fees are subject to change.)

 Program Admission Requirements and Prerequisites:

The following prerequisites must be completed and on file prior to application. Complete and submit the STLCC College Application. Official transcripts from high school, GED certification and other colleges must be mailed to the Registrar’s office (hand carried and faxed transcripts are not accepted). Upon acceptance to the College students will need to specifically apply to the Dental Hygiene Program. It is highly recommended that students meet with a STLCC Dental Hygiene Program academic advisor to complete an academic plan prior to applying for the program.

  • Acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program has three (3) requirements:
    • Cumulative GPA: Students must maintain a regular student status and a cumulative 2.5 GPA.
  • Science Pre-requisite GPA:
    • Four science pre-requisite courses must be completed prior to filling out the Dental Hygiene Program application. A minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required for these four science courses: BIO 203 Microbiology; BIO 207 Anatomy & Physiology I; BIO 208 Anatomy & Physiology II; CHM 101 Fundamentals of Chemistry. A minimum course grade of “C” is accepted. Please note that in order to maintain a 3.0 GPA, if a “C” is attained in course, then an “A” must be attained in another course to average to a 3.0 GPA. Science prerequisite courses must be completed within five calendar years of being accepted into the program.
  • Observation Hours:
    • Students must complete a total of 20 hours observing dental hygienists in private practice in a minimum of two offices, three preferred. This is to be documented on practice letterhead (date, number of hours spent observing, signature of dentist or dental hygienist) Professional attire is required with no visible tattoos or body piercings; no jeans; only closed toe shoes.
Students in this program receive real life hands-on experience at the public dental hygiene clinic at the Forest Park campus as well as at off site urban and rural dental health facilities. The learning environment includes classroom work, laboratory experience and actual clinical practice. While enrolled in this program, students will learn how to conduct patient assessments, perform dental diagnostic test including, radiographs, administer local anesthesia, instruct patients in dental disease control procedures, perform scaling and polishing procedure for the removal of hard and soft deposits and conduct other dental health procedures. Students are required to serve as clinicians and patients during their peer partner experiences.
Graduation Class

Pass rate for National Boards

Pass rate for Clinical Boards

Licensure Attained

Class of 2012
27 Grads




Class of 2013
26 Grads




Class of 2014
30 Grads




Class of 2015
33 Grads




Class of 2016
30 Grads




Class of 2017
24 Grads




Class of 2018
26 Grads



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Students should be interested in biology and health sciences and possess good hand/eye coordination skills. Exceptional organization and communication skills and an attention to detail are necessary. Students seeking a profession that provides a variety of duties and enjoy working with a diverse population in an office setting, may be interested in this career path.


Faculty members include registered dental hygienists and dentists licensed in Missouri as well as others with expertise in particular specialties.

Hands on Learning

The dental hygiene program uses a three-pronged approach to education. The teaching environment covers classroom work, laboratory experience and actual clinical practice. Students in this program receive real life hands-on experience at the public dental hygiene clinic at the Forest Park campus.

Advanced Facilities

Students have access to hands-on-experience at the public dental hygiene clinic on the Forest Park campus. STLCC has a fully equipped, 20-chair, dental hygiene clinic with four x-ray rooms equipped with four intraoral x-ray units and one panoramic unit, all which utilize digital radiography.

Please Note:

Dental professionals may be at risk for exposure to numerous workplace hazards. These hazards include but are not limited to the spectrum of blood borne pathogens, pharmaceuticals and other chemical agents, human factors, ergonomic hazards, noise, vibration and workplace violence. Read more about this risk.

Cost of Attendance

For more information on cost of attendance visit MoSCORES.

Program Career and Salary Information

Pursuant to Missouri HB 1606 (2018), information regarding the number of credit hours, program length, employment rate, wage data, and graduates employed in careers related to their program of study at St. Louis Community College can be found at Search using School / Program “St. Louis Community College” and choose the degree or credential type of interest.

The following limitations to the data apply - Information provided is based on the most recent cohorts available. Typically, most recent cohorts for wage and completion data are six years prior to the current academic year. Time to complete a program of study varies depending on the number of credit hours students earn per semester.

Contact Us

Hours for all campuses: Monday–Thursday 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

All Locations

Ms. Evans

Ms. Gibson-Winston

Ms. Hill

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