Students in Illinois have quite a few schools from which to earn an associate's degree in dental hygiene; one bachelor's degree in the field is also available. Such programs include general education courses in addition to major classes. In addition to classroom instruction, lab training and clinical studies are part of the curriculum. Prerequisite courses may apply for admission into dental hygiene programs.
College of DuPage
The College of DuPage is a 2-year college in Glen Ellyn that offers various academic programs, including an associate degree in dental hygiene. This 2-year program includes classroom, lab and on-campus clinical study at the school's dental hygiene clinic. Students gain professional skills in such areas as oral pathology, dental radiology, and periodontics. Other courses address dental materials, community dental health, and dental hygiene principles.
College of Lake County
This 2-year college in Grayslake serves more than 17,000 students. The college offers an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. The dental hygiene program requires students to complete at least 79 credits and can be completed in four semesters. Students learn about pain management, periodontics, oral pathology, and other topics.
William Rainey Harper College
Harper College is located in the city of Palatine. More than 16,000 students attend the 2-year public college. Students in the 2-year Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program study subjects such as radiology, dental pharmacology, and dental materials science. In order to be admitted to the program, students will need to complete prerequisite courses like human anatomy, human physiology, chemistry, and psychology.
Illinois Central College
Located in East Peoria, Illinois Central College offers a dental hygiene program that awards graduates an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Students need to earn 81.5 credits to graduate. General education courses include microbiology, and anatomy and physiology, while classes in the major include dental specialties, dental radiology, and medical emergencies. This program can be completed in 6 semesters.
John A. Logan College
John A. Logan College is a public, 2-year institution in Carterville, which more than 7,000 students attend. The college's dental hygiene program allows students to earn the Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Students study dental nutrition, oral pathology, and dental pharmacology. The program can be completed in two years, and graduates can go on to work in private dental offices.
Lake Land College
Located in Mattoon, Lake Land College serves more than 8,000 students. Offered as part of Lake Land's Allied Health Division, the Associate Degree in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program can be completed in two years, including a summer semester. Students study such topics as nutrition, periodontology, and lab procedures. They complete the program with 86.5 credits.
Lewis and Clark Community College
Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey offers an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program that requires students to take 90 credits. These include 52 dental hygiene credits. Courses offered include preclinical dental hygiene, pharmacology, and nutrition and oral health. The program can be completed in 6 semesters.
More than 9,000 students attend Parkland College in the city of Champaign. Students who intend to pursue a career in dental hygiene may want to explore the school's Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program. Students in this 78-credit program prepare for careers as dental hygienists by taking courses in anatomy of the head and neck, oral and dental anatomy, and dental histology and embryology. Students will also earn a number of credits by performing clinical hours.
Rock Valley College
The Associate in Applied Science program in Dental Hygiene at Rock Valley College in Rockford has students complete 27 credits of general education courses. These include microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and communication. The program also requires 54 credits of dental hygiene courses. These include classes in preventative dental hygiene, dental radiology, and dental materials.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is a 4-year public college with an enrollment of more than 19,000 students. SIUC's School of Allied Health offers an accredited dental hygiene bachelor's degree program that is the only such baccalaureate program in Illinois. This 4-year program combines classroom instruction and clinical experience. Coursework includes dental pharmacology, operative oral care, infection control, oral anatomy, and dental radiology. Clinical experiences, beginning in the spring semester of sophomore year, are conducted at an on-site dental clinic and at outside facilities. Advanced students can take further courses in periodontics or participate in internships focusing on oral care for specific segments of the population, such as the aged or those living in rural settings.
In Illinois, an individual who plans to be a dental hygienist will need to obtain a license from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. In order to qualify for the license, aspiring dental hygienists will need to complete a dental hygiene education program from a school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
School Comparison Table
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Hygiene Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|College of DuPage||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,080 in-district
|College of Lake County||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $3,948 in-district
|William Rainey Harper College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $3,684 in-district
|Illinois Central College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,500 in-district
|John A Logan College||2-year, public; small suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $3,766 in-district
|Lake Land College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate Degree in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,110 in-district
|Lewis and Clark Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $3,552 in-district
|Parkland College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,920 in-district
|Rock Valley College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $3,764 in-district
|Southern Illinois University Carbondale||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene|| $14,704 in-state
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.