Dental Hygiene

In the interest of your own personal safety and the safety of your patients, there are significant requirements that must be met before your admission to the program is finalized.  The attendance requirements and stamina demands on the dental hygiene student require student hygienists to be in good physical and mental health. 

The following technical standards and essential functions outline reasonable expectations of a student in a dental hygiene program for the performance of common functions. 

The student must be able to meet the following requirements to apply for admission and continuation in the program:



Standard/Physical Requirement


Physical ability, strength and stamina

Standard work day requires various abilities including standing, walking, sitting, bending, flexing, lifting, twisting, stooping, kneeling, reaching and stretching to gather and stock supplies, operate equipment (office and dental), and perform required functions of patient oral care.  Often must lift, carry or move objects weighing up to 40 pounds. Occasionally must assist patient position or transport requiring lifting in excess of 40 pounds.

Motor Skills

Physical ability, coordination, dexterity

Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to perform required functions of patient oral care; hand-wrist movement, hand-eye coordination, and simple firm grasping required for fine motor-skill and manipulation; fine and gross finger dexterity required;


Comprehend and process information; calculations

Engage in written and oral directives related to patient care, focusing and remembering information given by faculty to assimilate and apply to patient care; comprehend and process instructions readily; perform mathematical functions regarding anesthesia administration.


Use of touch

Normal tactile feeling required.  Sensitivity to heat, cold, pain, pressure, etc.


Use of auditory sense

Ability to hear and interpret many people and correctly interpret what is heard; i.e., dentist orders whether verbal or over telephone, patient complaints, physical assessment, fire and equipment alarms, etc.


Use of sight

Acute visual skills necessary to detect signs and symptoms, body language of patients, color of wounds and drainage, and possible infections anywhere.  Interpret written word accurately, read characters and identify colors on the computer screen.

Critical Thinking

Ability to problem solve

Integrate information through critical thinking based on information gathered on patients during clinical sessions, and during class sessions that are applied to the clinical process.


Speech, reading, writing

Effective use of English language. Communication abilities sufficient for effective interaction in verbal, nonverbal & written form

Effectively interacts with the environment and other persons. Fluent in English.  Ability to communicate with wide variety of people and styles and to be easily understood.  Reading, writing, recording, and documenting critical patient information required.


Emotional & mental stability

Functions effectively under stress; flexible, concern for others; able to provide safe dental care environment with multiple interruptions and noises, distractions, and unexpected patient needs.

Health & Safety Clinical Requirements  ​
Enrollment Process 
Enrollment Criteria