Students in Oklahoma may choose to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. Both types of programs focus on the hands-on skills needed in this career, but include general education courses as well. Programs consist of classroom instruction, laboratory training, and clinical experiences. Some programs allow partial part-time attendance for some courses. Programs may be limited admission and competition for entrance could be high.
Rose State College
Located in Midwest City, Rose State College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Students must complete general education courses prior to applying to the 2-year dental hygiene core program, which blends traditional classroom lectures with lab sessions and clinical rotations. While general education courses can be taken on a part-time basis, the dental hygiene program requires full-time attendance. This program admits only 12 students per year.
Tulsa Community College
This Tulsa community college's full-time dental hygiene program, which accepts 14 students each August, culminates in an Associate in Applied Science. Some prerequisite general education coursework must be completed prior to starting the program. Topics covered include dental and oral anatomy, periodontology and community dental health. Students also explore dental hygiene theory and learn techniques for dental radiography and dental pain management.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
This university in Oklahoma City offers a Bachelor of Science program in dental hygiene. Admission is competitive and requires students to submit records of their first two years of postsecondary education and proof of at least 40 hours of dental hygiene observation. In addition to teaching students about clinical aspects of working as a dental hygienist, this program aims to build their critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making skills and instill in them a sense of ethics and professional responsibility. The University of Oklahoma also offers this program via distance education in collaboration with Tri County Technology Center, Southern Oklahoma Technology Center and Western Technology Center.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all dental hygienists need to be licensed by the state of their employment. Aspiring dental hygienists can become licensed through the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry by successfully passing national and regional examinations. To qualify for exams, aspiring dental hygienists need to complete a board-approved program.
The three public schools featured below offer accredited dental hygiene programs that prepare students for licensure.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Hygiene Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Rose State College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,319 in-state
|Tulsa Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $3,349 in-state
|University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene|| $7,540 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator.