Individuals in Georgia have a wide range of schools from which they may earn an associate's degree in dental hygiene. All of the nine largest institutions are publicly funded and offer programs that may be completed in about two years. Such degree programs include general education requirements in addition to classroom and lab training in dental hygiene. Admission to some schools' programs is highly selective and competitive; entrance requirements may include background and drug screenings, placement tests, and CPR certification.
Athens Technical College
Located in Athens, this college has an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Hygiene program. Students study anatomy and physiology, tooth anatomy, dental materials, clinical dental hygiene, periodontology and oral pathology. Admission to the program is selective, with only 15 students officially accepted. Applicants are required to take the Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test V and have current CPR certification.
Central Georgia Technical College
Found in Macon, this college provides an AAS in Dental Hygiene. Admission to the program is competitive, with GPA scores on general education courses and scores on the Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) Health Occupational Aptitude Test serving as factors in determining admission. Eighteen students are admitted to the program. Students study course topics such as microbiology, clinical dental hygiene, periodontology, pharmacology and pain control.
Clayton State University
This university in Morrow offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Dental Hygiene. Students in the program take courses in dental radiology, dental anatomy, clinical dental hygiene and periodontics, among others. In additional to tuition, students need to pay for medical supplies, uniforms and screenings, along with other costs.
Darton State College
Located in Albany, this college has an Associate of Science (AS) in Dental Hygiene program. Students take dental and general education courses. Dental coursework includes dental hygiene clinic, periodontics and oral pathology. This program includes a summer semester.
Gainesville State College
Oakwood is the home of Gainesville State College. The college works in conjunction with Lanier Technical College to award an AAS in Dental Hygiene. Students take general education and science courses like anatomy and physiology, microbiology and chemistry at Gainesville before going on to Lanier's accredited program to take the required dental hygiene courses. These courses are offered at Lanier's Oakwood campus.
Georgia Highlands College
This college is in Rome, where the institution offers an AS in Dental Hygiene. Applicants to the program need to turn in background checks and drug screenings. While participating in the program, students must maintain CPR certification and health insurance. Courses include chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, patient care, histology and dental pharmacology.
Georgia Perimeter College
Located in Decatur, Georgia Perimeter College has an AS in Dental Hygiene program. Students take general education and professional courses. They study dental radiology, dental tissues, oral pathology, dental pharmacology and other topics.
Savannah Technical College
Found in Savannah, this college provides an AS in Dental Hygiene program. Students take science courses like anatomy and physiology, chemistry and microbiology. After completing these courses, students study topics such as head and neck anatomy, radiology, dental materials and embryology.
West Georgia Technical College
West Georgia Technical College in Waco offers an AAS in Dental Hygiene. Applicants to the program must have CPR certification, and they need to complete the PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Exam. Admission to the program is competitive. Students in the program study microbiology, dental materials, radiology and periodontology.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Located in Valdosta, this college has an AAS in Dental Hygiene program. Only the top 14 applicants are accepted into the program. Students take courses such as radiology, nutrition, clinical dental hygiene and community dental health.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists usually have an associate's degree. Those who want to become a dental hygienist in Georgia must have a degree accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation; the commission is also referred to as CODA. Licensing requires passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, a regional exam and the jurisprudence exam from the Georgia Board of Dentistry. License applicants must also have up-to-date CPR certification.
All the schools profiled below, except for Gainesville State College, offer programs accredited by CODA.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Dental Hygiene Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Athens Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city||AAS in Dental Hygiene||$2,684 in-state; $4,820 out-of-state*|
|Central Georgia Technical College||2-year, public; small city||AAS in Dental Hygiene||$2,674 in-state; $4,810 out-of-state*|
|Clayton State University||4-year, public; large suburb||BS in Dental Hygiene||$5,340 in-state; $15,596 out-of-state*|
|Darton State College||4-year, public; small city||AS in Dental Hygiene||$3,395 in-state; $9,470 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Highlands College||4-year, public; fringe rural||AS in Dental Hygiene||$3,115 in-state; $9,190 out-of-state*|
|Georgia Perimeter College||2-year, public; large suburb||AS in Dental Hygiene||$3,213 in-state; $9,288 out-of-state*|
|Savannah Technical College||2-year, public; midsize city||AS in Dental Hygiene||$2,654 in-state; $4,790 out-of-state*|
|West Georgia Technical College||2-year, public; fringe rural||AAS in Dental Hygiene||$2,724 in-state; $4,860 out-of-state*|
|Wiregrass Georgia Technical College||2-year, public; small suburb||AAS in Dental Hygiene||$2,734 in-state; $4,870 out-of-state*|
Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.