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Dental Hygiene

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Julie Barnwell
Program Faculty: Kim Dunlap, Rachael Bruce, Dr. David Dachs

Program Website

Program Application (Fall 2020 application available February 14th)

The Dental Hygienist is a licensed professional member of the healthcare team who integrates the roles of educator, consumer advocate, practitioner, manager, and researcher to support total health through the promotion of oral health and wellness. The focus of dental hygiene is on preventing oral disease.

Upon receipt of the Associate of Applied Science Degree, successful completion of the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination is required. The graduate will also need to obtain a license for the state he/she wishes to practice in by successfully completing a regional practical examination (WREB). The dental hygienist must practice in accordance with the requirements of the individual state's practice acts and abide by requirements to maintain licensure.

The Great Falls College MSU’s Dental Hygiene Program is a limited enrollment program, accepting 16 students each year. Interested students are urged to contact the Program Director or the Advising & Career Center Advisors for student advising specific to admission requirements and criteria for program acceptance.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Formulate comprehensive dental hygiene care plans that include accurate, consistent and complete documentation for assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation that are dental centered and based on current scientific evidence based treatment.
  • Employ professional judgement and critical thinking to identify, asses, analyze and creatively address situations in a safe and ethical manner.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills through verbal and written communication with all individuals and groups from various populations.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and provide service to the community through health promotion activities and oral health prevention education while respecting their values and beliefs.
  • Apply the concepts of oral health prevention and promotion to improve overall wellness by understanding the link between oral and systemic health.
  • Provide safe and competent dental hygiene services to all individuals who seek treatment regardless of age, physical status, or intellectual ability with an individualized approach that is humane, empathetic, and caring.
  • Demonstrate appropriate cultural, legal, ethical, and professional values at all times while practicing within the standards established by the professions code of ethics and identify parameters of accountability.
  • Determine when the collaboration with other healthcare professionals is required to ensure safe appropriate comprehensive dental hygiene care is provided.
  • Develop goals based on continuous self assessment to ensure lifelong learning and professional growth.
  • Exhibit effective customer service and practice building skills that are designed to promote the area and importance of preventive oral health.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tuition and Fees $11,962
Application Fee $30
Lab Fees $200
Program Fee $1,265
Books/Supplies/Instruments $3,743
Total $17,200


Fall 2019 MUS Student Health Insurance Premiums will be changing. Please check the Health Insurance website and/or Student Central for confirmed premium rates. Students will be charged an additional fee of $21 per credit for online/hybrid courses.

Students will be required to purchase dental instruments, supplies, uniforms, and may also be required to provide transportation to clinical sites and lodging costs depending on the clinical sites selected.

Many students need preliminary math, science, and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

Prerequisite Courses

BIOH 201Human Anat Phys I/Lab (= 301) **,+4
BIOH 211Human Anat Phys II & Lab(=311) *,+4
BIOM 250Microbiology for Hlth Sci wLab *,+4
M 121 (or any math course in the MUS Core) **,+3-4
WRIT 101College Writing I **,+3
Select one of the following:
CHMY 121Intro to General Chem w/Lab *,+4

CHMY 141College Chemistry I w/Lab **,+4
CHMY 143College Chemistry II w/Lab *,+4
Total Credits22-27

All prerequisite courses and dental hygiene program application must be completed by June 10th prior to fall entry into the program. A grade of C (not a C-) or above must be achieved in all prerequisite and program courses to advance in the program and to graduate.

Program Course Requirements

First Year
DENT 101 Intro to Dental Hyg/Preclinic *,+ 2
DENT 102 Intro to DH/Preclinic Lab *,+ 2
DENT 110 Theory of Infect Ctrl and Dis *,+ 1
DENT 118 Oral Anatomy for Hygienists *,+ 3
DENT 122 Radiology I/Lab *,+ 2
HTH 140 Pharmacology for HC Providers *,+ 2

First Year
DENT 150 Clinical Dent Hyg Theory I *,+ 2
DENT 151 Clinical Dent Hyg Practice I *,+ 4
DENT 160 Periodontology I *,+ 3
DENT 165 Oral Histology and Embryology *,+ 2
DENT 125 Radiology II/Lab *,+ 2
DENT 240 Local Anes/Nitrous Ox Theo/Lab *,+ 2

First Year
DENT 220 Dental Nutrition Health *,+ 3
DENT 260 Periodontology II *,+ 2
DENT 223 Clinical Dent Hyg Theory II *,+ 2
DENT 251 Clinical Dent Hyg Practice II *,+ 4

Second Year
DENT 130 Dental Materials *,+ 2
DENT 263 General/Oral Pathology *,+ 3
DENT 237 Gerontology/Special Needs Pts *,+ 2
DENT 250 Clinical Dent Hyg Theory III *,+ 2
DENT 252 Clinical Dent Hyg Practice III *,+ 5
Select one of the following:
COMX 111 Intro to Public Speaking + 3
COMX 115 Intro to Interpersonal Communc + 3

Second Year
DENT 232 Comm Dental Hlth and Educ *,+ 2
DENT 235 Prof Issues/Ethics in Dent Pra *,+ 2
DENT 280 Clinical Dent Hyg Theory IV *,+ 1
DENT 281 Clinical Dent Hyg Practice IV *,+ 5
SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology + 3
Select one of the following:
PSYX 100 Introduction to Psychology + 3
PSYX 230 Developmental Psychology + 3
Total Credits71



Indicates prerequisites needed.


Placement in course(s) is determined by placement assessment.


A grade of C or above is required for graduation.