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Dental Hygiene
College Credit
& Degrees
Frequently Asked Questions 

What exactly is a Registered Dental Hygienist?

Under the direction of a licensed dentist the hygienist may instruct patients in oral health education, perform oral prophylaxis (scaling and polishing of the teeth), expose, process and mount x-ray films, give fluoride treatments and apply sealants, take impressions, assist the dentist, and collect medical/dental history data from the client. The majority of dental hygienists are employed in dental offices. Opportunities also exist in public schools, public health, professional schools, dental sales, research and expanded duties.

Must a dental hygienist be licensed?

Dental Hygienists must be licensed. To apply for a license in the state one wishes to practice the hygienist must pass the written National Board, a regional clinical and written board and written state exam.

What is the typical salary for a Registered Dental Hygienist?

Salaries vary in different sections of the community, state and country. Salaries in the Cleveland area range from $18,000 to $40 ,000 per year. The average salary of new graduates is $22-$30 per hour.

Where can I obtain employment?

The majority of dental hygienists are employed in dental offices. Their primary duties are oral prophylaxis and health education. Additional responsibilities include medical and dental history taking, diagnostic data collection, nutritional counseling, treatment planning, root planning, exposing and developing radiographs, patient dental health, chairside information, general management of the office and assisting in some laboratory procedures. Other opportunities for dental hygienist include sales, public health, education, research and expanded functions.

How long is the program? Can I complete the program on a part-time basis?

Twenty-one (21) months - two years. Dental Hygiene is considered to be a full-time day program. Most students complete all of the general education courses prior to beginning the dental hygiene curriculum. The completion of the pre-dental hygiene course does NOT ensure an applicant he/she will gain formal entrance into dental hygiene.

Can I transfer credits from another college or university?

Generally yes.  Once a student's transcript has been evaluated for course equivalency, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a Tri-C counselor.  It is always the prerogative of the degree granting institution to accept or reject courses taken at an institution other than Tri-C.

Is the program offered in the evenings or weekends? Can I work while attending the program?

The program is not offered in the evenings or weekends. Students enrolled in the program are cautioned regarding accepting employment. The intensity and continuity of the program is such that employment may detract from course responsibilities.

Is Financial Aid available?

Generally yes. Students may qualify for the usual federal or state programs. The Dental Hygiene Program also offers some professionally affiliated scholarships. For more information contact the Tri-C Financial Aid Department at 216-987-4100, or the Program Manager at 216-987-4494.

How many students are accepted?

Approximately 24 students each year are accepted into the Dental Hygiene Program.

When should I submit an application?

As soon as all admission criteria have been met.


How to reach us

Mary Lou Gerosky,
Cleveland, OH  44115-3196

Dental Hygiene Clinic


Health Careers Enrollment Ctr.
Cuyahoga Community College
Metropolitan Campus
2900 Community College Ave.
Cleveland OH 44115-3196

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