The Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate is Phase I of the two-phase Dental Hygiene program and consists of the 36 hours of general education courses required for the Dental Hygiene curriculum. In addition to the college's placement test and the admissions requirements for the Health Sciences Department, specific eligibility and admissions criteria to the Pre-Dental Hygiene program include:
Acceptable Eligibility Criteria
A student's acceptance of a position in the Pre-Dental
Hygiene Certificate (Phase I) program implies that the student will work
consistently to complete the 36 hour program within the next two or three
semesters. All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or
Students may not retake any course in the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate
program more than once. The student may not repeat more than two
different courses in the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate. The repeat
policy applies to both internal and external transcripts.
(Phase I: Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate Curriculum)
Midlands Technical college students who complete the Pre-Dental Hygiene curriculum with a 2.5 GPA and "C" or above on all courses may apply for the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate. (Science and mathematics courses must be completed according to the timeframe established and published for all Health Sciences Programs.) At completion of the 36 hours of coursework, the student must complete the Graduation Clearance Form for the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate and submit an application for entry consideration and interview for the Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program (Phase II). The student's date of interview eligibility for Phase II is based upon the date of acceptance to and completion of Phase I.
Students in Phase I should be aware that in the
clinical phase of the Dental Hygiene program (Phase II), students will be
expected to act as patients for classmates to practice all new skills,
including infiltration anesthesia injections. Students who require
antibiotics prior to dental procedures will be expected to comply with such
self-mediation so as to allow equitable classmate learning experiences
during pre-clinical sessions. Students anticipating orthodontic
procedures should complete their banding phase prior to entry into Phase II
or they should delay initiation of the orthodontic procedures until the
second year of Phase II.
Merit Admissions Opportunity:
Students may apply for merit admission after completing the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate Program. Merit admission is an opportunity for a special consideration for priority admission into Phase II of the Dental Hygiene Program. There are preset published criteria for merit admissions. Please follow the link below for more information and forms pertaining to the merit admissions process. Merit Admissions Opportunity
The Dental Hygiene program includes instruction in principles of preventive oral care, including teaching patients self-care, examining patients’ head and neck areas for abnormal health status, nutritional counseling, smoking cessation, applying sealants to the grooves of patients’ teeth, producing diagnostically acceptable dental radiographs (x-rays), managing pain and anxiety, removing deposits from patients’ teeth with scaling procedures and managing health information.
Employment opportunities in South Carolina include private practice; i.e., as employees of dentists. There are also opportunities in community-based settings, hospital dental practices, prison dental clinics and dental hygiene education. Related career roles include dental products sales representatives, infection control consultants for private dental offices and dental hygiene educators. The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
Completion of the five clinical semesters in Phase II qualifies the student to take the Dental Hygiene National Board, the passing of which is a prerequisite for licensure by the South Carolina Board of Dentistry. Students must also pass a Clinical Dental Hygiene Examination administered by a board approved testing agency to gain licensure in South Carolina.Admissions Criteria:
Phase I, the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate, must be completed with a 2.5 GPA, including "C" or better in all courses, as one of the criteria for advancement to Phase II, the Dental Hygiene major curriculum. Students may not retake more than two courses in Phase I. Science and math courses must be completed according to the Health Sciences Departmental course acceptance timeframes. Other general education courses completed with at least a "C" may be applied indefinitely course credit. Following the completion of the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate course work, the student will complete the Graduation Clearance Form and submit an application for entry into Phase II, the Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program. The student will then be assigned an interview eligibility date. The student's date of interview eligibility for Phase II is based upon the date of acceptance to and completion of Phase I.
Students in Phase II must receive a "C" or better on all dental hygiene courses and maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students may not repeat a major course more than once, nor may they progress until that course has been passed. Students may not repeat more than two Phase II courses during their program matriculation.
A student may not be readmitted to the dental hygiene program more than once. Readmitted students will be expected to revalidate competencies prior to resuming participation in the program at the previous point of validated competence and may be required to comply with mutually agreed upon re-entry requirements.
Students are required to purchase and maintain a complete set of dental hygiene and x-ray instruments, clinical instruments, laboratory coats, stand uniforms (including gloves and masks), shoes, name pin and Loups at an approximate cost of $5,500.00.
Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in each clinical dental hygiene course to continue in the program the following semester. Students must pass a written competency examination prior to the third semester of Phase II. This competency exam tests students’ knowledge in all clinical and scientific subject matter presented during the Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate and the first year in dental hygiene. All students will participate in a "Board Review" course prior to taking the Dental Hygiene National Board.
Primary clinical experience is gained in the on-campus dental clinic at the Airport Campus. Pre-clinical practice is performed on classmate patients. Students accepted into Phase II of the Dental Hygiene program will be expected to act as patients for classmates to practice all new skills, including infiltration anesthesia injections. Students may also rotate through local dental clinics, hospitals, private dental offices and nursing homes in the immediate area for practicum experiences in a variety of situations and age groups.
Students will be required to comply with regulations required in off-campus clinical sites, which might include finger printing, additional background checks and drug screening. Students will be required to produce an acceptable background check and a drug screening prior to entering Phase II of the Dental Hygiene program. Arrangements will be made by the Allied Dental Education Programs.
Students are encouraged to join their student professional organization and to participate in its scheduled activities, including attendance at the annual meeting. In addition, they are required to participate in scheduled activities such as visits to elementary schools for dental health education presentations and dental screenings.