Dental Hygienist

Why Choose This Program?

More than just a pretty smile…

Dental hygienists are licensed primary healthcare professions. Working in clinical dental settings, they provide preventive and therapeutic services to patients of all ages to promote the health of the public. Dental hygienists help people keep their teeth for a life!  Clinical duties include patient assessment, teeth cleaning, taking radiographs, utilizing technology, periodontal therapy and administering local anesthesia and nitrous oxide inhalation.

Following graduation and licensure requirements of the State Board of Dentistry, the dental hygienist becomes a primary healthcare professional, oral health educator and clinician. Work settings include clinical practice, sales, education, research, health promotion, advocate and public health.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in dental hygiene provides a solid start to enter the dental field and prepares the graduates to further their education for a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

Skills Acquired

  • Patient communications
  • Patient assessment
  • Patient management
  • Patient education and counseling
  • Radiology
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Anatomy
  • Instrumentation
  • Professional standards
  • Attention to detail
  • Use of technology
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Reasoning skills
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to work independently or in groups

Career Choices in Dental Hygiene

Types of Careers

  • Dental hygiene clinician
  • Consultant
  • Practice manager
  • Sales and marketing
  • Community health specialist
  • Researcher
  • Dental hygiene educator

Potential Employers

  • Private dental practices
  • Corporate dental practices
  • Specialty dental practices
  • Government
  • Corporations
  • Dental supply companies

Projected Job Growth

Average State Pay

 $70,000 per year
( lists the median income for dental hygienists in the state of Minnesota as $70,324. This is $33.81 per hour)

Degrees & Certificates

Clubs & Organizations

SADHA (Student American Dental Hygiene Association)

Accreditations & Credentials

The St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) Dental Hygienist program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (

Other Information


Additional Program Information is available from this webpage on the right-hand side including the Admissions Process for the programs, Program Faculty Information, and other important program related information.  Please review all of the program information on the Program Admissions link.  This is a professional education program and you will be expected to display personal responsibility and understanding of the requirements of the program and profession.  If you still have additional questions, please attend a program information session and learn more about applying to the program and what types of jobs this education can lead towards.

Program Information Session

To learn more about the Dental Hygienist program, sign up for an Information Session. These sessions provide an opportunity to:

  • Talk face-to-face with program faculty.
  • Tour state-of-the-art labs, where hands on learning comes to life.
  • Get your questions answered.

Watch the program video and review program web pages for more information.

Mission Statement

The SCTCC Dental Hygiene Program will provide evidence-based education and clinical experiences to acquire the knowledge, skills, and ethical standards to become an entry level dental hygiene professional.

Dental Hygiene Program Goals:

  1. Possess the skills and knowledge needed to provide optimal dental hygiene patient care while valuing and adhering to the American Dental Hygienists Association Code of Ethics.
  2. Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate treatment in the promotion of oral and systemic health using an evidence based approach.
  3. Embrace an interdisciplinary role within the health care system and assess, plan, implement, and evaluate oral health care programs and activities for diverse population groups while facilitating access to care and services.
  4. Promote the values of optimal oral health as related to general health and overall wellness to patients.
  5. Value the dental hygiene profession through career growth, development and a commitment to lifelong learning.

SCTCC Dental Hygiene Program definition of critical thinking:

Dental Hygiene students at SCTCC will make decisions and reasonable judgments by thinking clearly, creatively and critically.
Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by:

  • Analyzing systems, processes and situations when making decisions about patient care
  • Applying scientific research and evidence based decision making.
  • Incorporating evidence to make decisions about immerging technology and treatment planning.
  • Synthesize information from a variety of scientific research and reliable sources when planning treatment.
  • Performing self assessment for learning and professional growth.

Dental Hygiene Program Competencies

Dental Hygiene Patient Care Standards

Career Options


Contact Info

320.308.5000 or 1.800.222.1009

1540 Northway Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303