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Application for Interview Form
Core Classes
Core Sequence
Request for Transfer Credit Form
Dental Experience Form
Interview Criteria
Dental Hygiene Program Admissions Criteria
Occupational Courses Sequence
Bloodborne Pathogens / Infectious Diseases Policy
Program Costs
Kim Duncan, Dental Hygiene Administrative Assistant
678-989-3118 (fax)
Would you like a dental hygiene appointment?
Dental Hygiene Services
Dr. David Byers, Dental Hygiene Program Director
Vanessa Jones, Dental Hygiene Senior Class Clinic Coordinator
Ruth Thompson, Dental Hygiene Junior Class Clinic Coordinator
Dental Hygiene
Course Schedule   |   Financial Aid   |   Tuition
  The Dental Hygiene Program consists of a sequence of courses that prepares students for positions in the dental profession as a dental hygienist. Learning opportunities develop academic, technical, and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. The program emphasizes a combination of didactic and clinical instruction necessary for successful employment. Program graduates receive a Dental Hygiene Associate of Applied Science Degree, and are eligible to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and The Central Regional Dental Testing Services Examination, both of which are required for licensure to practice dental hygiene in the state of Georgia.


The program in dental hygiene 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. The Commission’s web address is


The philosophy of the dental hygiene program is to provide a quality education for the dental hygiene student which will include a variety of experiences in the classroom, clinic, and community.

Program Goals

Goal 1 – Provide dental hygiene education and training to meet community workforce needs.
• Encourage professionalism and ethics in all endeavors.
• Develop communication and critical thinking skills.
• Develop motor skills to provide efficient and safe patient care.
• Provide didactic training to create a knowledgeable graduate.
• Introduce students to volunteer-based community services.

Goal 2 – Provide opportunities for students and graduates to advance technical training and research opportunities.
• Pursue articulation agreements with institutions of higher learning.
• Recognize diverse career pathways for dental hygienists.
• Promote lifelong learning among students and graduates.
• Develop evidence-based research skills through community service projects.

Goal 3 – Increase student retention and program completion rates by maintaining the number and quality of healthcare graduates.
• Recognize program candidates best suited for success in the program.
• Provide advisement and remediation for student improvement.
• Review and evaluate student pass rates on the National Board and Regional Board (CRDTS).
• Monitor job placement rates.
• Maintain full program accreditation from CODA.

Goal 4 – Seek ongoing capacity development and quality improvement for the dental hygiene program.
• Acquire and maintain equipment to provide learning opportunities in all aspects of dental hygiene care.
• Participate in continuing education to maintain properly educated faculty and staff.
• Implement an institutional effectiveness model including assessment, evaluation and planning for continuous improvement of the dental hygiene program.

Program Information

The Dental Hygiene Degree program admits fifteen students once per year at the beginning of the Fall Semester. The length of the program is 5 semesters, including a summer semester, over a period of 21 months. Interested students must first enter the Healthcare Science Certificate program (Pre-Dental Hygiene concentration) to meet the minimum core requirements. Acceptance into the HCSC program and meeting the minimum requirements for program admission does not guarantee an applicant’s acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Degree program.

Entrance Requirements

Admission into the Dental Hygiene Degree program involves a competitive selection process administered by the Dental Hygiene Selection Committee. The following criteria are evaluated to determine admission:
  • Core GPA
  • Core completed
  • Dental experience
  • Three letters of reference from dentists or dental hygienists.
  • Personal essay explaining your reasons for choosing a career in dental hygiene
  • Professional interview
In order to be considered for an interview the applicant must complete the criteria listed above and submit an Application for Interview Form to the Dental Hygiene Department Administrative Assistant by March 15th. Interviews are usually conducted the last week of March or the first week of April.

 Degree Level:
  Dental Hygiene Degree

Frequently Asked Questions

How time intensive is the program?
The program is very time intensive. Students who are selected for the program should make every effort to not have to work while they are in the program. The program schedule will be similar to a full-time job and will include both didactic courses and clinical requirements. There will also be outside school requirements that may occur after hours or on weekends. The student is expected to have a flexible schedule in order to meet these requirements.

What courses must be taken to be considered for the Dental Hygiene Degree program?
See Core Classes.

Is there a suggested sequence to meet the core courses requirements within the Healthcare Science Certificate program (Pre-Dental Hygiene concentration)?
See Core Sequence.

What courses may be taken to satisfy the Humanities/Fine Arts requirement?
Courses offered at Lanier Technical College that will meet this requirement include HUMN 1101, MUSC 1101 and ENGL 2130.

Do I have to take all the core courses at LTC or can I transfer in coursework?
The core classes can be taken at other institutions and transferred to Lanier Technical College. If the course title is not identical the student should not assume that the course will transfer.

How do I prepare to gain admission into the Dental Hygiene Degree program?

New students:

  • Apply for admission to Lanier Technical College.
  • Select Healthcare Science Certificate (Pre-Dental Hygiene) as your major.
  • Complete the core classes.
  • Obtain dental experience by assisting or observing in dental offices.
  • Apply for an interview.
Transfer Students:
  • Apply for admission to Lanier Technical College for the summer semester prior to the fall semester you plan to begin the Dental Hygiene Degree program.
  • Request ALL transcripts from prior colleges to be sent to Lanier Technical College.
  • Submit a Request for Transfer Credit Form to the Registrar's Office.
  • Select Healthcare Science Certificate (Pre-Dental Hygiene) as your major.
  • Complete any remaining core classes.
  • Obtain dental experience by assisting or observing in dental offices.
  • Apply for an interview.

What is the deadline to have all information submitted to apply for an interview?
The deadline to submit the application information is March 15th or the following Monday if March 15th occurs on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Completed applications can be delivered to the Dental Hygiene Administrative Assistant or they can be faxed to 678-989-3118.

What paperwork should be included to complete my application for an interview?
Note: see information above for transfer students.

How are applicants selected for the Dental Hygiene Degree program?
The top 25 candidates are granted interviews, and 15 of these candidates will be chosen by the Dental Hygiene Selection Committee for program admission. The criteria to be evaluated in the interview are included in the Interview Criteria. The Dental Hygiene Program Admissions Criteria demonstrates the weighting of the admission criteria.

How should I prepare for the interview?
The candidate should be prepared for a professional interview with the Dental Hygiene Selection Committee. Dress well (business suit), as if you were preparing for a job. Be ready to answer questions concerning your preparation to enter the field of dental hygiene and your reasons for choosing this career path.

What courses will I take after entering the Dental Hygiene Degree program?
See Occupational Courses Sequence.

Is there any other information I should know?
  • The 15 students accepted into the Dental Hygiene Degree program will be required to obtain CPR certification. Arrangements will be made during the summer semester prior to program entry for the new cohort of 15 students to receive CPR certification.
  • Proof of current immunizations will need to be provided.
  • Program applicants should be aware of the Bloodborne Pathogens / Infectious Diseases Policy in relation to patient care.
  • Estimated program costs.

Click (+) on the following topics for more information:
Significant Points [+]

  • A dental hygienist must receive a license issued by the Georgia Board of Dentistry to practice in the state of Georgia.
  • Dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations.
  • To apply for a dental hygiene license in Georgia the dental hygienist must have a degree from an accredited dental hygiene school, have passed the jurisprudence examination for the state of Georgia, have passed the National Dental Hygiene Examination, and have passed the Central Regional Dental Testing Services (CRDTS) Examination.
  • Although background checks are not required by the Lanier Technical College Dental Hygiene Program, individuals should be aware that the Georgia Board of Dentistry requires the following information for dental hygiene licensure:
    Have you ever been summoned, arrested, taken into custody, indicted, convicted or tried for, or charged with, or pled guilty to, or pled nolo contender to a violation of any law or ordinance or the commission of any felony or misdemeanor (excluding minor traffic violations), (DWI &DUIs’ are not minor traffic violations), or have you been requested to appear before a prosecuting attorney or investigative agency in any matter?

    (Although a conviction may have been expunged from the records by order of court, it nevertheless must be disclosed in your answer to this question). If yes, for each occurrence furnish a written statement giving the complete facts in your own words, including in such statement the date, name and nature of the offense, the name and locality of the court, and the disposition of each such matter. You must attach the court disposition.

  • Program Instructors [+]

      Dr. David Byers  
      Dental Hygiene Program Director
      Oakwood Campus
      Phone: (770) 533-6932

      Vanessa Jones  
      Dental Hygiene Instructor & Clinical Coordinator
      Oakwood Campus
      Phone: (770) 533-6948

      Ruth Thompson  
      Dental Hygiene
      Oakwood Campus
      Phone: (770) 533-6970

    Nature of the Work [+]

    The dental hygienist is a vital member of the dental care team who offers a variety of services. Hygienists work with people to identify their tooth care needs, provide services that help them keep their teeth healthy throughout life, and work closely with the dentist to ensure that treatment needs are met. Those who enter the field should be caring people who enjoy the opportunity to be with others, communicate their expertise to clients, and enjoy working with their hands. Dental hygienists are licensed to practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

    Dental hygienists can perform the following tasks:
    • take and record dental and medical histories
    • perform oral examinations
    • scale and polish teeth
    • apply topical fluoride treatments
    • prepare diagnostic casts
    • perform periodontal root planning procedures
    • expose and process dental x-rays
    • apply sealants
    • implement patient education programs
    • perform nutritional counseling
    • discuss smoking cessation
    • other duties approved by the state Board of Dentistry

    Work Environment [+]

    Dental hygienists work in clean, well-lighted offices. Important health safeguards include strict adherence to proper radiological procedures and the use of appropriate protective devices when administering anesthetic gas. Dental hygienists also wear safety glasses, surgical masks, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. Dental hygienists also should be careful to avoid possible shoulder and neck injury from sitting for long periods of time while working with patients. Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are common. Dentists frequently hire hygienists to work only 2 or 3 days a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office. In 2008, about half of all dental hygienists worked part time—less than 35 hours a week.

    Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement [+]

    High schools students interested in becoming dental hygienists should take courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Most dental hygiene programs require applicants to have completed at least one year of college as students are meeting the core requirements. Specific entrance requirements typically vary from one school to another.

    In 2008, there were 301 dental hygiene programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Most dental hygiene programs grant an associate degree, although some also offer a certificate, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree. A minimum of an associate degree or certificate in dental hygiene is generally required for practice in a private dental office. A bachelor’s or master’s degree usually is required for research, teaching, or corporate sales and marketing.

    Schools offer laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition, radiography, histology, periodontology, pathology, dental materials, clinical dental hygiene, and social and behavioral sciences.

    Other qualifications. Dental hygienists should work well with others because they work closely with dentists and dental assistants, as well as dealing directly with patients. Hygienists also need good manual dexterity, because they use dental instruments within patient’s mouths, with little room for error.

    Certification and advancement. Dental hygienists must be licensed by the State in which they practice. Nearly all States require candidates to graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school and pass both a written and clinical examination. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations administers the written examination, which is accepted by all States and the District of Columbia. State or regional testing agencies administer the clinical examination. In addition, most states require an examination on the legal aspects of dental hygiene practice.

    Advancement. Advancement opportunities usually come from working outside a typical dentist’s office, and usually require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dental hygiene. Some dental hygienists may choose to pursue a career teaching at a dental hygiene program, working in public health, or working in a corporate setting.

    Job Outlook [+]

    Dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations. Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but competition for jobs is likely in some areas.

    Job Prospects. Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but will vary by geographical location. Because graduates are permitted to practice only in the State in which they are licensed, hygienists wishing to practice in areas that have an abundance of dental hygiene programs may experience strong competition for jobs.

    Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ dental hygienists, are leaving the occupation and will be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to employ one or more hygienists. In addition, as dentists’ workloads increase, they are expected to hire more hygienists to perform preventive dental care, such as cleaning, so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures.

    Employment change. Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow 36 percent through 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This projected growth ranks dental hygienists among the fastest growing occupations, in response to increasing demand for dental care and more use of hygienists.

    The demand for dental services will grow because of population growth, older people increasingly retaining more teeth, and a growing emphasis on preventative dental care. To help meet this demand, facilities that provide dental care, particularly dentists' offices, will increasingly employ dental hygienists, often to perform services that have been performed by dentists in the past. Ongoing research indicating a link between oral health and general health also will spur the demand for preventative dental services, which are typically provided by dental hygienists.

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    © 2014 Lanier Technical College
    2990 Landrum Education Drive, Oakwood, Georgia 30566
    Phone: 770-533-7000 | Fax: 770-531-6328
    A Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia
    An Equal Opportunity Institution.