Program Information |Catalog Description
The dental hygienist is a licensed professional who works in partnership with a dentist to provide comprehensive dental hygiene care to patients. In addition to clinical skills, hygienists utilize their significant dental hygiene knowledge to develop an individualized care plan for the patient and to instruct them in the maintenance of oral health.
Dental hygienists can be employed in general offices or in offices that specialize in pediatric dentistry (treatment of children) or periodontics (diseases of the soft tissue and bone). Additional employment opportunities are available for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor in Dental Hygiene
The Bachelor in Dental Hygiene degree is a four year program. The first three semesters include courses in liberal arts, social and natural sciences, math, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and chemistry. These courses prepare the student for specific dental hygiene courses such as dental anatomy, pre-clinical laboratories, radiology, local anesthesia, oral pathology, management of medically compromised patients, pharmacology, research methods, community health and dental materials.
At the conclusion of the program, students are eligible to take regional and national board examinations. Upon successful completion of these examinations, graduates may apply for licensure to practice dental hygiene in the state of Ohio, as well as many other states.
Dental Hygiene Skills
A dental hygienist must have academic ability, manual dexterity and critical thinking skills. Organizational and time management skills are also necessary in the provision of quality dental hygiene care. Additionally, good communication skills and a people-oriented, caring personality are essential in this health care profession.
The Dr. Madeleine Haggerty Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
YSU maintains a faculty to student ratio of approximately 1: 4 in the dental hygiene clinic, 1:5 in the radiology and local anesthesia laboratories, 1:10 in the dental anatomy and dental materials laboratories and 1:24 in the classroom. These ratios enable the faculty to provide individual instruction to the students.
The dental hygiene faculty includes full-time and part-time dental hygienists, dentists and dental specialists.
The Dr. Dominic A. and Helen M. Bitonte College of Health and Human Services located in Cushwa Hall is home to the Dental Hygiene Program. Cushwa Hall houses classrooms, conference rooms, the dental hygiene clinic, and reception room.
Dental hygiene students incur costs above the University tuition such as uniforms, instrument kit, magnification glasses, and the hepatitis vaccine. There are also fees for the
state, regional, and national licensure examinations.
Off Campus Experiences
Experience in nontraditional sites is required in the public health dental hygiene course. Students provide dental health patient care in regional dental clinics and dental health education in the area school systems.
Additional Employment Opportunities
A bachelor degree prepares the graduate for opportunities in marketing, dental sales, research, teaching, community health, state or federal government positions and other health care settings.
Starting salary is approximately $25 -$30 per hour depending on locale and experience. Other options include a flat base pay plus commission, commission only, day rate or an hourly rate. Benefits such as paid vacations, paid holidays and the availability of a retirement program influence the hourly compensation.
Application Information for the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
The application deadline for the Bachelor of Science degree is September 15 for spring semester admittance.
Application packets for current students are available in the Dean’s office,
Dr. Dominic A. and Helen M. Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, Cushwa Hall, room 2065.
New, Transfer, And Former YSU Students
New, transfer and former YSU students must first apply and be admitted to the University by completing the undergraduate admissions form and indicating dental hygiene as the intended major. All necessary dental hygiene records and supporting documents must be received by October 15 of the year of application. Students will be admitted on a competitive basis as class size is restricted. The first class for the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene will be accepted for the spring of 2013.
Prospective students must complete a minimum of 12 hours of observation of a registered dental hygienist in at least two separate dental offices or dental clinics. Observation forms are available on the Dental Hygiene website at www.ysu.edu. Each prospective student must complete the forms and mail them to Youngstown State University Dental Hygiene Program, One University Plaza, Youngstown, Ohio, 44555. The forms must be received by the October 15 deadline.