Dental Hygiene Schools in North Carolina with Program Overviews

North Carolina has thirteen colleges that offer dental hygiene programs. Learn about the programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

North Carolina offers dental hygiene programs at 2-year community colleges and 4-year universities. Students in these programs receive instruction through didactic coursework and hands-on training, including clinical experiences. Programs generally lead to the award of associate's degrees, although at least one certificate, one bachelor's degree, and one master's degree are also available.

Asheville - Buncombe Technical Community College

Asheville - Buncombe Technical Community College is located in Asheville and offers a dental hygiene associate's degree program. Students are required to complete 74 credit hours. In addition to four dental clinic courses, the curriculum also consists of coursework in dental hygiene concepts, dental office emergencies, dental pharmacology, community dental health and dental radiography.

Cape Fear Community College

Situated in Wilmington, students at Cape Fear Community College can pursue the 75-credit dental hygiene associate's degree program. The program is five semesters, and students are required to complete courses in community dental health, nutrition and dental health, oral pathology, dental pharmacology and dental theory. Dental hygiene clinics are also part of the curriculum. Students must meet minimum scores on placement tests in order to apply for this program.

Catawba Valley Community College

Catawba Valley Community College is located in Hickory and offers a dental hygiene associate's degree program that gives students the communication, critical thinking and other technical and cognitive skills needed to practice in the field. In addition to courses and labs, students have an opportunity to perform dental procedures at the college's dental clinic. Course topics include nutrition and dental health, orofacial anatomy and pharmacology.

Central Carolina Community College

Situated in Sanford, Central Carolina Community College has a 76-credit dental hygiene associate's degree program that takes five semesters to complete. The program combines lectures and lab work and includes four clinical courses. Students also take classes in biochemistry, psychology, expository writing, periodontology and oral pathology.

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College sits in Charlotte and offers a dental hygiene associate's degree through the Health Sciences Division. The 76-credit program includes four dental hygiene theory and four dental hygiene clinic courses. Additional coursework covers topics such as dental materials and procedures, community dental health, dental pharmacology and oral pathology.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Located in Fayetteville, students enrolled at this community college can pursue a dental hygiene associate's degree. The program is 75 credits, and courses cover topics such as dental office emergencies, nutrition and dental health, materials and procedures, dental theory and dental radiography. Students are also required to complete four dental hygiene clinical courses.

Forsyth Technical Community College

Forsyth Technical Community College sits in Winston-Salem and has an associate's degree program in dental hygiene. Courses ensure that students understand how to clean teeth, educate patients, perform dental procedures and take X-rays. The program admits 14 students each year.

Guilford Technical Community College

Situated in Jamestown, Guilford Technical Community College offers a dental hygiene associate's degree program. Students learn about creating clinical documentation, following dentists' treatment plans, conducting dental education sessions and performing dental procedures. Graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina is located in Chapel Hill and offers several dental hygiene programs. Both the university's bachelor's degree and certificate programs in this field feature major courses in dental health education, dental materials, dental ethics and community dental health. Students also complete a specialty practicum and internship.

Students enrolled in the master's degree program are required to complete 28-33 credit hours. Courses include educational concepts, organization and administration, biostatistics and applied research, as well as two education and research seminars. A thesis and internship are also part of the curriculum.

Wake Technical Community College

Situated in Raleigh, Wake Technical Community College offers an associate's degree in dental hygiene. The program is 73 credit hours and takes four semesters to complete. Students learn about infection control, orofacial anatomy, dental radiography, dental pharmacology, procedures and materials, dental office emergencies and community dental health.

Career Requirements

After graduating from one of the dental hygiene programs in North Carolina, aspiring dental hygienists need to pass the CITA (Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc.) Dental Hygiene exam. Also required are written exams in sterilization and infection control, as well as North Carolina jurisprudence.

Below are more detailed profiles of the schools offering dental hygiene programs as well as a comparative table about school locations, tuition costs, and program titles.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Dental Hygiene Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Asheville - Buncombe Technical Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,419 in-state, $8,563 out-of-state*
Cape Fear Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,654 in-state, $8,798 out-of-state*
Catawba Valley Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,195 in-state, $7,571 out-of-state*
Central Carolina Community College 2-year, public; distant town Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,412 in-state, $8,556 out-of-state*
Central Piedmont Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,664 in-state, $8,808 out-of-state*
Fayetteville Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,394 in-state, $8,538 out-of-state*
Forsyth Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,025 in-state, $6,631 out-of-state*
Guilford Technical Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,064 in-district; $2,208 in-state, $7,056 out-of-state*
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 4-year, public; small city Dental Hygiene Certificate,
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
$8,591 in-state, $33,673 out-of-state*
Wake Technical Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $2,768 in-state, $8,912 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.


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