Students in Oregon have a number of schools from which they may earn an education in dental hygiene, many of which prepare students for licensure exams. Some cooperative education programs are also available. However, students should note that these types of schools do not provide the entire program at one campus site. Programs lead to the award of associate's or bachelor's degrees in the field and include general education requirements. In addition to classroom and lab-based training, students will complete clinical experiences.
Chemeketa Community College
Located in Salem, this community college offers a cooperative Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program with the Oregon Institute of Technology. Students at Chemeketa Community College take prerequisite courses like allied health chemistry, microbiology and medical terminology. After completing prerequisites and applying for the professional portion of the program, students participate in clinical experiences and dental hygiene seminars.
Eastern Oregon University
This university is in La Grande, and it provides cooperative associate and bachelor's degree programs in dental hygiene. The participating educational partners are Eastern Oregon University, the Oregon Institute of Technology and the ODS Companies. Eastern Oregon University only provides the general education and prerequisite portions of the dental hygiene programs. Associate's degree students study pathology, periodontology and dental materials at the ODS. Bachelor's degree students take courses in dental practice and healthcare management.
Lane Community College
Lane Community College is located in Eugene and offers a 2-year dental hygiene program at the associate level. Students need to complete prerequisites before applying to the professional program. Students complete lectures, labs and clinical training. Courses include dental anatomy, community dental health and local anesthesia.
Mt. Hood Community College
Gresham's Mt. Hood Community College offers an associate degree program in dental hygiene. The 6-quarter program provides traditional lectures, labs and clinical experiences. Students study pathology, oral radiology, nutrition and pharmacology. Graduates will be able to transfer to a bachelor's degree program.
Oregon Institute of Technology
The Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls offers several dental hygiene programs in various campuses. The bachelor's degree program at Klamath Falls includes clinical experiences and field training. The institute also offers a bachelor's program in partnership with Chemeketa Community College. The hybrid program provides online and on-campus coursework.
The Oregon Institute of Technology also offers an online bachelor's degree completion program for those who have completed the National Board exams in dental hygiene.
Located in Hillsboro, Pacific University offers a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program. The university admits students who have completed prerequisite coursework and several hours of dental observation. The dental hygiene curriculum is 2 years in length and includes lectures, seminars and clinics. Students also study periodontics, pain management and oral pathology.
Portland Community College
Located in Portland, this college offers an associate dental hygiene program that trains students for state licensure. Credits earned in this program can be transferred to a 4-year program. Admission to the dental hygiene program at this college is selective, and applicants are chosen based on criteria like grade point averages, completion of prerequisites, work experience and an essay.
Treasure Valley Community College
Ontario's Treasure Valley Community College offers a 2-year program in pre-dental hygiene that prepares students for transfer to a 4-year program. The Associate of Arts degree program requires courses in writing, speech, math, biology, anatomy and physiology. Since colleges have varying pre-dental hygiene course requirements, the school recommends students to work with an advisor.
Oregon dental hygienists need a state license to practice, and aspiring hygienists can get licensed through the Oregon Board of Dentistry. Licensing requirements include the completion of a dental hygiene program through a school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association and successfully passing the National Board exam, clinical regional/state exam and state jurisprudence exam.
This article profiles the 9 largest private not-for-profit and public colleges that offer dental hygiene or pre-dental hygiene programs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Dental Hygiene Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Chemeketa Community College||2-year, public; midsize suburb||Cooperative Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene||$4,725 (in-state)
|Eastern Oregon University||4-year, public; remote town|| Cooperative Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene,
Cooperative Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
|Lane Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,812 (in-state)
|Mt. Hood Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $5,441 (in-state)
|Oregon Institute of Technology||4-year, public; remote town||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene|| $10,118 (in-state)
|Pacific University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene||$44,298|
|Portland Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene|| $4,340 (in-state)
|Treasure Valley Community College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate of Arts in Pre-Dental Hygiene|| $5,445 (in-state)
Source: *NCES College Navigator