Rock Valley College

Dental Hygiene Degree

Degree conferred: Associate in Applied Science -80 Credits
Program contact: Dental Hygiene Program office, (815) 921-3235

Program overview

Graduates of this program have acquired skills to provide care that supports optimal oral health, including educational, clinical and therapeutic services. Skills are mastered through classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences to provide well-rounded career preparation.

Dental Hygiene Lab

Work and employment

A career in dental hygiene offers opportunities in multiple settings. Registered Dental Hygienists are part of a dental health team. Dental hygienists work in private and corporate dental offices, where they provide treatment and services that help to prevent oral disease such as dental caries and periodontal disease and educate the client about maintenance of optimal oral health. They also work in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, schools, correctional facilities, health maintenance organizations and higher education institutions where they serve as faculty members.

Professional Credential and Program Accreditation

Graduates are eligible to take two board exams that lead to state licensure. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) under the auspices of the American Dental Association (ADA).

Admission to the Program

Admission is selective and competitive. All required documents must be submitted to the Dental Hygiene Program office on or before February 15th to be reviewed for admission for the fall semester. The Dental Hygiene Program holds information sessions that cover prerequisites and other important admission information. Attendance of a session is required to receive an application packet for the program. For details on scheduling to attend an information session, call the Dental Hygiene Program office at (815) 921-3235.

Prerequisite Courses

The following courses or equivalencies must be completed before
starting this program.

1. Mathematics requirement: Minimum Math requirement of MTH 092–Beginning Algebra Part II with minimum grade of C or higher.

2. Biology requirement: BIO 281/282–Human Anatomy and Physiology I/II, or equivalent, with minimum grade of C or higher. Completion of BIO 282 within 5 years.

3. Chemistry requirement: CHM 110/210–General, Organic and Biochemistry I/II, or CHM 120-General Chemistry I, or equivalent Chemistry course with lab.

4. Communications requirement: ENG 101–Composition I, or equivalent.

General Education Course Requirements (27 credits)

Number Title Credits
  ENG-103 Composition II (3)
  BIO-281 Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
  BIO-282 Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
  BIO-274 Microbiology (4)
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication (3)
  PSY-170 General Psychology (3)
  SOC-190 Introduction to Sociology (3)

One 3-credit elective in Humanities and Fine Arts is also required.

Dental Hygiene Course Requirements (53 credits)

Term I, Fall (14 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-102 Preventive Dental Hygiene (2)
  DNT-104 Dental Anatomy, Histology, Embryology (3)
  DNT-106 Head and Neck Anatomy (3)
  DNT-108 Pre-Clin Dental Hygiene Theory (2)
  DNT-109 Pre-Clinical Dental Hygiene Lab (2)
  DNT-110 Nutrition and Biochemistry (2)

Term II, Spring (13 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-112 Clinical Dental Hygiene I (2)
  DNT-113 Dental Hygiene Theory I (1)
  DNT-114 General and Oral Pathology (3)
  DNT-116 Dental Radiology Theory (2)
  DNT-117 Dental Radiology Lab (1)
  DNT-118 Dental Pharmacology (2)
  DNT-120 Introduction to Periodontics I (2)

Term III, Summer (8 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-210 Dental Materials Theory (2)
  DNT-211 Dental Materials Lab (1)
  DNT-212 Clinical Interim (2)

Term IV, Fall (12 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-214 Periodontics II (2)
  DNT-216 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (4)
  DNT-217 Dental Hygiene Theory II (1)
  DNT-218 Dental Ethics, Jurisprudence & Practice (2)
  DNT-220 Community Dental Health (2)
  DNT-221 Community Dental Health Practicum (1)

Term V, Spring (6 credits)

Number Title Credits
  DNT-224 Clinical Dental Hygiene III (4)
  DNT-225 Dental Hygiene Theory III (2)

Cooperative community colleges are: Blackhawk Technical College, Elgin Community College, Kishwaukee College, Highland Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, McHenry County College and Sauk Valley Community College.