The dental hygienist works under the supervision of the dentist in dental offices and other health agencies. Duties include cleaning teeth, exposing x-rays, providing dental care instructions to patients, applying cavity-preventing materials, administer local anesthetic, maintaining patient records, and preparing clinical laboratory tests. Additional duties may be found within the Illinois Dental Practice Act. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, the examination for enrollment as a Dental Hygienist in Illinois, and other state and regional licensing examinations needed for licensure as a Dental Hygienist in Illinois and elsewhere.
Notice to patients and potential dental hygiene applicants: Dental clinic students, faculty clinicians and patients are exposed to bloodborne pathogens. These include (but are not limited to) pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood and have the potential to cause disease such as Hepatitis HBV, Herpes, Tuberculosis and HIV. The Bloodborne Pathogen policy is available by contacting the Dental Hygiene Program.
Goals of the Dental Hygiene Program
- To provide a career program that prepares the graduate to move into the community as an ethical, professional, and competent dental hygienist.
- To provide dental hygiene care and education that strives to meet the needs of the community, especially for those individuals who might not have access to preventive dental services.
- To be able to assess patients of health as well as those with special needs.
- To be up to date and practice safe infection and hazard control procedures for the safety of self, patients and all others.
- To offer a curriculum that may meet the lower-division requirements of four-year colleges and universities so that the individual may transfer to other institutions and continue formal education.
- To provide a foundation for professional growth, scientific advancement, and life-long learning through participation in and assuming leadership roles in professional organizations and continuing education planning.