College of Health and Human Services
Schools & Divisions
Dental Hygiene Career Options
The dental hygienist is a licensed member of the dental health team and is concerned with the prevention of diseases of the oral cavity. The dental hygienist completes a professional college program that entitles the graduate, upon successful passage of national, regional and state board examinations, to perform specific preventive treatments of children and adults; to expose and process dental radiographs (x-rays); to assume duties in the dental office; and/or to participate as a dental health professional in federal, state, or local public health clinics and educational programs.
IU Northwest currently offers a program that leads to an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene degree (last class accepted in fall semester 2012) and will be offering a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree (beginning in fall semester of 2013) and a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene completion degree (beginning in fall semester of 2014). While the associate degree is adequate to prepare the dental hygienist to perform the tasks that may be assigned in the private dental office, additional knowledge and skills are necessary for positions involving the responsibilities of public health, education, or administration. Because of increasing interest among dental hygienists in those opportunities, the baccalaureate degree will be offered in the fall semester of 2013 at IU Northwest and is offered at several other institutions in the state.
Students interested in pursuing a dental hygiene degree should consult the Dental Education program advisor at IU Northwest.