Dental hygienists play a key role in maintaining the oral and systemic health of their clients through treatment services and education.

Students in L&C’s program study assessment; treatment and prevention of oral diseases; electronic dental record keeping and digital radiography; planning community-based oral health programs; advising patients on commercial products; and more.

By your second semester, you’ll begin seeing patients in our on-campus Paul B. Hanks Dental Clinic, which offers preventive services including exams, digital X-rays, cleanings (deep cleanings included), sealants, and fluoride. You will also receive hands-on experiences at offsite locations.

With our 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio, you’ll benefit through personal attention from experienced instructors.

Upon graduation, L&C Dental Hygiene graduates have a 100% employment rate. They are prepared to work in general dentistry, periodontal offices, public health clinics, pediatric offices, and hospital clinic settings. Experienced hygienists may also find employment with retail sales companies and educational institutions.

Dental Hygiene is a two-year selective admissions program. Students must have completed an ADA-CODA Dental Assisting program to apply.

Course Transferability In and Out of the Lewis and Clark Dental Programs

  1. Program-specific dental courses are not designed to transfer in or out of the L&C dental programs.
  2. The L&C 1+1 curriculum design between dental assisting and dental hygiene requires full completion of an ADA-CODA accredited dental assisting program to qualify for dental hygiene admission. Courses in the completed dental assisting program must be formally evaluated by L&C dental program coordinators to ensure that all required dental assisting course content was included to meet this dental hygiene guideline.
  3. Some required dental program courses are considered general education and/or science courses. Lewis and Clark Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and general education and science courses are designed to transfer out to other regionally accredited institutions. However, course equivalency is determined by the reciprocal institution. L&C only accepts general education and science courses from regionally accredited institutions, and each course is formally evaluated to determine L&C course equivalency. We encourage students to work with L&C academic advisors regarding the transferability of specific general education and science courses.

Notice to patients and potential dental hygiene applicants:
Enrolled students and patients are exposed to bloodborne pathogens. These include (but are not limited to) pathogenic microorganisms present in human blood and have the potential to cause diseases such as Hepatitis HBV, Herpes, Tuberculosis and HIV. The Bloodborne Pathogen policy is available by contacting the Dental Hygiene Program.


  • Dental Hygiene | AAS degree
  • Local Anesthesia | Certificate of Completion

See the catalog for the course and degree information
*This is only meant as a guide. Please see an advisor when planning your courses.

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Applicants MUST download the Admissions Guide and familiarize themselves with program information, deadlines and requirements.

Download the Admissions Guide

The Admissions Guide includes the following information:

  • Program application instructions and admission checklist (Admission documentation is due to the enrollment center by Feb. 1 for the following fall start, required testing is in January for the following fall start… see page 10 for further details.)
  • College discrimination/harassment policy statement
  • Program goals and philosophy
  • Certification and other qualifications
  • Career description and opportunities
  • Current job outlook details
  • Course transferability in and out of the L&C dental programs
  • Program curriculum outline
  • Estimated program costs
  • Required pre-entrance exam dates, location, and other details (***Please note – completion of this exam is an admission requirement, and applicants who do not take it will not be considered for admission. Testing dates range from November through the first week of January to qualify for application for the program that starts the following August. See page 10 of the Admission Guide for specific information about the test and all registration details.
  • Dental programs faculty member names, areas of study, degrees earned, and conferring institutions

Applicants ranked as alternate or conditional candidates will not be considered for admission after the Monday prior to the start of fall classes.


Commission on Dental Accreditation Policy for Third-Party Comments

The L&C dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is:

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling 1-800-621-8099, extension 4653.

Student Achievement Data

L&C Dental Hygiene Program

First-Time Pass Rates for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination certified by the Joint Commission on Dental Examinations through the American Dental Association
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
90% 75% 75% 88% 71%
First-Time Pass Rates for the Regional Clinical Exam certified by the Central Regional Dental Testing Service
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
95% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Licensure Information

Lewis and Clark Community College Dental Hygiene program meets the state education requirements to apply for both the National Board Dental Hygiene exam and the clinical board exam offered by Central Regional Dental Testing Service. Graduates can then apply for a Registered Dental Hygienist license in the states of Illinois and Missouri. Lewis and Clark Community College has not determined if the Associate’s in Applied Science Dental Hygiene program meets the state education requirements in any other state, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia. Students considering licensure in other states, U.S. Territories, or the District of Columbia should contact the appropriate licensing agency in the area where you plan to be licensed prior to enrollment at Lewis and Clark Community College to ensure the coursework meets those requirements.