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Once the student completes the prerequisites for this program, an AAS is earned in two years. The cost for this program is approximately $5,000 for 2 years. Requirements for clinical practice are to undergo a criminal background check and to have all required immunizations up to date. The basic job description of a dental hygienist is:

  • Preventive Services
  • Oral Prophylactic Patient Treatment
  • Patient Dental Education
  • Radiography
  • Dental Health Education
  • Patient Nutritional Counseling
  • Oral cancer screenings

Dental Hygiene is one of the most lucrative health professions around. During the past half century, dental hygiene has emerged and expanded as a prominent career for both men and women who are interested in being part of an important dental health team.

Four members comprise this dental health team- dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant and dental lab technician. The dental hygienist learns specialized clinical skills providing direct client care. They may be responsible for community distribution of information related to prevention of oral diseases and the maintenance of oral health. According to the most recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Monthly Labor Review, published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of the dental hygienist is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the end of the millennium.

There is great stability in the dental hygiene field. Today’s dental hygienists have been working in their current practices for an average of 5.5 years. Hygienists may also have considerable freedom to choose their own hours. There are excellent career opportunities in the workforce with newly developed alternative career paths.

These individuals, who don’t fit the usual profile of the dental hygiene student, might meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Over 23 years of age
  • Individuals seeking career change or job re- entry after a period of unemployment
  • Individuals with culturally diverse background

Due to the success of preventive dentistry in reducing the incidence of oral disease, the growing older population will retain their teeth longer, and will be even more aware of the importance of regular dental care. Dentists will need to employ more dental hygienists than ever before to meet the increased demand for dental services.


Salary Range

Average salary range (depending on the field of work, education, location, and expertise):

El Paso, Texas: $50,000 - $65,000
State of Texas: $60,000 -$75,000
Nationally: $73,000 – $98,000

Career Ladder Mobility

Bachelors, Masters’ Degree, Doctorated.

Duration of Program

2 year - Associate Program

Program Documents

Dental_Hygiene_AAS-DHYG.pdfProgram Guide - Dental Hygiene AAS
Dental_Hygiene_Program_Costs.pdfDental Hygiene Program Costs
Dental_Hygiene-Educational_Competencies.pdfDental Hygiene - Educational Competencies
Dental_Hygiene-Mission_Goals_Expected_Outcomes.pdfDental Hygiene - Mission, Goals and Expected Outcomes
Dental_Hygiene-Observation_and_Essay_Instructions.pdfDental Hygiene - Observation and Essay Instructions
Dental_Hygiene-Program_Outcomes.pdfDental Hygiene - Program Outcomes