Jan 25, 2021  
2017-18 Catalog 
2017-18 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Jump to Degree Planners

Program Coordinator Chrissea Hallstead

The L&C Dental Hygiene Program provides the education necessary to fulfill the roles of a dental hygienist in the second phase of a unique curriculum known as “career laddering”. Students are accepted into the program with advanced standing admission status by having 38 credit hours or the equivalent from dental assisting education. After completion of “phase one” of dental assisting, the student may choose to seek employment as a dental assistant or apply into the Dental Hygiene phase of the program. Acceptance into the L&C Dental Assisting Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program.

The Paul B. Hanks Dental Clinic Building includes a dental materials laboratory, a dental programs resource room, and a state-of-the-art dental assisting/hygiene clinical learning center. Students receive patient care instruction from experts who are oral health care professionals. Students work with the latest equipment and techniques, and have the opportunity to participate in other rotations at a variety of sites: Beverly Farm, the Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, and numerous public health and community-oriented settings.

You’ll gain confidence through quality education in the L&C Dental Hygiene Program. Since the first class of graduates in 1996, the program boasts a 99 percent success rate on the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, a test necessary in order to complete the licensure process in all states. The average score of the L&C graduates is usually well above that of the national average. In addition, our one-year follow-up surveys indicate that graduates are 100 percent prepared for their professional job opportunities based upon their educational experiences at L&C. 

Nature of Work: The Dental Hygiene program prepares students to be important members of the dental health team. Although each state has its own regulations regarding the scope of dental hygiene practice, some of the responsibilities of the dental hygienist are: assessment, treatment and prevention of oral diseases, planning community-based oral health programs, providing staff development training, promoting the need for innovation and change in oral health care, advising patients on commercial products, working with public health agencies, and researching for the improvement of patient care.

Graduates are qualified to pursue additional education at the baccalaureate level and/or find job placement in a multitude of areas such as: general dentistry offices, periodontal offices, retail sales companies, public health agencies and educational institutions.

Skills and Abilities: All applicants and students must be able to fulfill certain “technical standards.” These standards are the essential requirements of the Dental Hygiene program that students must master to successfully participate in the program and become employable in the dental hygiene field.

Technical standards for students in the Dental Hygiene Program

  1. All applicants and students must possess the manual dexterity and visual capacity to perform all required technical procedures and properly manipulate dental instruments.
  2. Students must be able to communicate in an effectual manner. Students will be required to read and comprehend technical material, as well as write technical reports in a clear and concise manner. In addition, all students must be able to verbally communicate effectively with patients, co-workers, and other dental personnel.

Each applicant needs to assess his/her own ability to meet the above technical standards.

Accreditation: The L&C Dental Hygiene Program received full “approved without reporting” status from the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation in July, 2011.

Graduation Requirements: To be eligible for graduation with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene, a student must:

  • Complete 60 credit hours as prescribed in the curriculum
  • Attain a minimum GPA of 2.0 with a grade of “C” or better in dental hygiene courses (defined as a course with a DENT prefix) and BIOL 141, BIOL 142, BIOL 241, and CHEM 130. (If the student completes the biology and chemistry courses prior to admission in the program, the courses must have been completed no more than five years prior to the fall semester the student is accepted into the dental hygiene program.)
  • Satisfy requirements for an Associate in Applied Science degree as outlined in this catalog.
  • Complete the Dental Hygiene Program competencies. Completion of the program includes competency in:
  1. Assessing patients of health as well as those with special needs
  2. Infection and hazard control procedures
  3. Completing a dental hygiene treatment plan, which includes patient’s problems, the dental hygiene plan, and the dental hygiene appointment sequence
  4. Teaching individualized oral health education to the patient
  5. Non-surgical dental hygiene treatment, supportive dental hygiene procedures, and evaluation of care
  6. Professional and ethical management of patients
  7. The organization of community oral health activities
  8. The pursuit of lifelong professional growth and development through participation in and assuming leadership roles in professional organizations and continuing education planning
  • Abide by specific policies for the program. These policies are available for review in the Dental Assisting/ Hygiene Office in the Paul B. Hanks Dental Clinic Building or with the program coordinator.

Application and Admission: To be considered for admission, an applicant MUST meet these criteria and submit the following credentials to the Dental Assisting/Hygiene Office by Feb. 1.

  • Evidence of residence in one of the following public community college districts: Lewis and Clark District No. 536, Southwestern Illinois College District No. 522, East St. Louis Community College Center, John Wood Community College District No. 539, Kaskaskia College District No. 501, Illinois Eastern Community College No. 529, or Lincoln Land Community College No. 526. (Residency requirements must be met by Feb. 1 for admission to the Fall semester.) Out-of-region residents will be eligible if space is available after the dental hygiene class has been selected from in-region residents. Acceptable proof of residency


  • Illinois driver’s license showing in-region residency,
  • Voter’s registration card showing in-region residency,
  • Utility bill showing in-region residency, or
  • Rent receipt showing in-region residency.

Residency must be met and proven by February 1 of the year for which the applicant applies.

  • L&C application for the Dental Hygiene Program.
  • Official high school transcript and/or official GED report showing successful completion.
  • Evidence of completion with a grade of “C” or better in the following courses:
    • Qualify for MATH 116 by appropriate L&C placement test score or a qualifying score on the mathematics portion of the ACT examination or one college semester of algebra, MATH 112. If necessary, appropriate prerequisite courses must be taken prior to program enrollment.
    • Complete MATH 114 or MATH 124 or successfully pass the MATH 114 proficiency/waiver examination.
    • Qualify for ENGL 131 by L&C placement test scores in English and reading. If necessary, appropriate prerequisite courses must be taken prior to program enrollment.
    • One year of high school general biology, or one college semester of general biology with a grade of “C” or better: BIOL 130, BIOL 131, 0r BIOL 132. (BIOL 132 is preferred if this requirement has not previously been met. ) 
    • SPCH 145.
    • PSYC 131.
    • CHEM 130.
    • Computer Literacy Requirement:
      • Complete any high school or college computer concepts course with a grade of “C” or better, or
      • Complete DENT 143 Dental Office Management with a grade of “C” or better, or
      • Complete an acceptable substitution from another ADA-CODA Dental Assisting Program. (This computer requirement CAN be met if your Dental Assisting curriculum includes computer use in office management. You are not REQUIRED to enroll in a separate computer course as a prerequisite.) 
    • 32 semester credit hours of an ADA accredited dental assisting program. If you have had no previous dental assisting education, you must apply to the L&C Dental Assisting Program first.
  • Transcripts from any previously attended college or university. Applicants with foreign transcripts will need to have their transcripts evaluated by the commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools. Contact the Dental Programs office at 618-468-4403 for an application form for credential evaluation and a fee schedule.
  • Current transcript, if presently a college student, showing courses in which you are now enrolled.
  • Score earned on the Dental Hygiene Pre-admission Aptitude Test. If you find it necessary to repeat this test in an attempt to attain a higher score, you are eligible to retake the test once in any three year period. You must have taken the test in order to be considered for admission. The test is only administered each January. Candidate ranking for acceptance to the class is based on the pre-admission test score. To register for this Aptitude Test, please call the L&C Placement Center at 468-5220, 468-5221 or 1-800-642-1794, ext. 5220 or 5221.
  • Identify the year you wish to be admitted to the program and begin dental hygiene courses on the program application form.
  • Grade point average of 2.0 or better for courses completed at Lewis and Clark
  • Proof of taking and passing the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) within 2 years prior to admission date. Those applicants that will graduate from an ADA accredited dental assisting program in May-August of the year they apply for admission must provide a copy of their DANB application for a summer testing date. Admission to the program for these students will be provisional, contingent upon the applicant showing a passing DANB score by July 1. For information about taking the DANB, call 1-800-FOR-DANB. Students must keep their DANB certificate current while enrolled in the program, up to graduation.
  • Proof of ranking in the upper half of their high school graduating class, OR completion of a minimum of six semester hours with a grade of “C” or better from among the following: SPCH 145, PSYC 131, BIOL 130, BIOL 131, BIOL 132, or ENGL 131.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the above credentials are in the Dental Assisting/Dental Hygiene office by February 1 of the year they intend to begin the program. Provisional acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program is possible if the above required course work can be fulfilled prior to the start of classes in the Fall.

Final acceptance will be given to qualified applicants when they have met the following additional requirements:

  • Successful completion of a Dental Hygiene Challenge Examination testing proficiency of current knowledge in dental materials, tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, dental radiology, medical and dental emergencies, preventive dentistry, and oral histology and embryology. If proficiency is not attained, the applicant will have the opportunity to remediate and retake the exam in four weeks. If an applicant fails to pass the repeated exam, he/she will be required to take more formal remediation before reapplying to the program the next year. Those applicants who are not graduates of the L&C Dental Assisting Program must take the Challenge Exam. Those applicants who are graduates of the L&C Dental Assisting Program must take the Challenge Exam if more than one year has passed since graduation.
  • Must be recognized in Basic Life Support, including CPR, through the American Heart Association (Health Care Provider course only – classes must include use of AED, so cannot be an online course unless the clinical portion is also included) before classes commence. Card must be valid all semesters enrolled in the program in order to attend clinical and lab sessions and be submitted along with required medical and dental forms.
  • Satisfactory completion of the medical and dental health packet prior to admission to the program. Applicants must have immunizations for tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and an annual TB skin test. The annual TB skin test must be kept current in order to attend clinical and lab sessions. A hepatitis C vaccine is strongly recommended.
  • Completion of all program prerequisites, and
  • Maintenance of the DANB certification until graduation from the Dental Hygiene Program.

To request a Dental Hygiene admissions information packet, please call 618-468-4409, or 1-800-642-1794, ext. 4409 or go online at www.lc.edu/program/dentalhygiene.

Dental Hygiene - DENT/HYGNE.AAS

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Notice:  Students considering the B.S. in Dental Hygiene at SIU-C after graduation from L&C should contact the program coordinator regarding course selection prior to enrollment.

Summer Semester

Total: 3 Credit Hours

Fall Semester

Total: 15 Credit Hours

Total: 18 Credit Hours

Total: 8 Credit Hours

Fall Semester

Total: 16 Credit Hours

Total credit hours required for the A.A.S in Dental Hygiene: 60


Local Anesthesia - DENT/LOCAN.CC

Certificate of Completion

This short-term certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete DENT 257, Local Anesthesia in Dentistry. Current dental hygiene students and graduates from any dental hygiene program may seek admission into this course and program. The program provides instruction on head and neck anatomy; the characteristics and physiology of pain; an evaluation of the dental patient including allergies, overdose, and contraindications; the materials and equipment used in administering local anesthesia; pharmacological issues including potency, toxicity, metabolism, and vasoconstrictors; innervation and maxillary and mandibular injection techniques; medical emergencies; documentation; and alternative clinical techniques.


Total credit hours for Certificate of Completion in Local Anesthesia: 2


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Jump to Degree Planners