Arizona-based students interested in a career in dental hygiene may choose to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field. Such programs include general education coursework in addition to classroom instruction and lab training in dental hygiene; programs also provide students with the opportunity of clinical experiences or rotations. Associate's degree programs are usually designed to allow graduates to enter directly into the workforce, following licensure.
While there are eight schools that offer accredited dental hygiene programs in Arizona, the six colleges listed below are public or private not-for-profit.
Mesa Community College
This school in Mesa offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Hygiene program. Only 20 full-time students are accepted each year, and students must organize clinical experiences by recruiting their own patients. In addition, students take turns practicing on one another. The school does provide a dental hygiene clinic that offers the community access to affordable dental care. Students performing procedures at this clinic do so under the supervision of professionals in this field.
Mohave Community College
Located in Kingman, Mohave Community College offers an associate's degree in dental hygiene. The program only accepts 18 students each fall, and this 2-year program requires the completion of 95 credit hours. Students can expect to study dental radiography, anatomy, pharmacology and anesthesiology. Students must also complete three levels of clinical training to earn this degree. The program is not designed for transfer opportunities.
Northern Arizona University
This university in Flagstaff offers a bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene, which takes four years to complete. Courses cover dental science and community health. Students also participate in clinical experiences.
The online Bachelor of Science Completion in Dental Hygiene program is designed for registered dental hygienists who already have a certificate or associate's degree in the field. Courses in the program might include healthcare ethics and oral pathology. After completing the program, students can seek career advancement or graduate education.
This college in Phoenix offers an AAS in Dental Hygiene. The program requires 98-103 credit hours. Students can expect to study emergency medicine, oral pathology, dental anesthesia and community oral health. Clinical coursework in dental hygiene is also required.
Pima Community College
Pima Community College in Tucson offers a dental hygiene associate's degree program. Students take courses like oral morphology, radiography, clinical dental hygiene, pain control and periodontology. The program prepares students for employment or for transfer to a 4-year degree program.
Rio Salado College
Located in Tempe, Rio Salado College offers an associate's degree program in dental hygiene that can prepare students for entry-level careers. After completing general education courses in the natural sciences, humanities and behavioral sciences, students complete 58 credit hours of required major courses. These courses include the study of pharmacology, dental radiography, periodontics and dental anesthesia. Students can also expect to complete multiple laboratory and clinical experiences over the course of the program.
In Arizona, dental hygienists are required to be licensed to practice. Licensure entails passing an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited program, a national dental board examination and the Western Regional Examining Board examination.
School Comparison Table
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Hygiene Degree Options||Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Mesa Community College||2-year; public; large city||AAS in Dental Hygiene|| $2,070 in-state;
|Mohave Community College||2-year; public; rural fringe||AAS in Dental Hygiene|| $2,112 in-state;
|Northern Arizona University||4-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Science (BS) in Dental Hygiene
BS Completion in Dental Hygiene
| $11,564 in-state
|Phoenix College||2-year; public; large city||AAS in Dental Hygiene|| $2,070 in-state;
|Pima Community College||2-year; public; large city||AAS in Dental Hygiene|| $2,142 in-state;
|Rio Salado College||2-year; public; midsize city||AAS in Dental Hygiene|| $2,070 in-state;
Sources: *NCES College Navigator