Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Degree Information

Academic Plan Code




Career Pathway

Associated Programs

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Dental Hygiene prepares students to practice entry-level dental hygiene. Dental hygiene students will provide preventive and therapeutic services, and will develop a commitment to the community through extramural opportunities serving diverse populations. The program is a blend of academic and clinical coursework that requires attention to detail and motivation to complete tasks on a timeline. Graduates are employed in private dental offices, hospitals, schools, and clinics within their community. The Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611-2678 (312) 440-4653) grants accreditation to the Phoenix College, Rio Salado, and Mesa programs. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. Graduates are eligible for board examinations and licensure in all fifty states. Applicants who are accepted and enroll in a MCCCD Dental Hygiene program will be exposed to blood-borne and infectious diseases. The program strictly adheres to established policies and procedures regarding infection control as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Dental Association, The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Program Prerequisites

All General Education requirements are met by Program Prerequisites as indicated.  Students should consult with an advisor in selecting courses to meet the General Education area.

Admission Criteria:  A high school diploma or GED equivalency is required.
Ability to fully participate in classroom, laboratory, or clinical setting program activities.
Submit current CPR card for Health Care Provider and maintain current status throughout the program.
Complete and submit the required proof of immunity and health declaration form signed by a licensed health care provider.
Submit to a drug screening and demonstrate negative results.
Completion of program prerequisites.
Formal application and admission to the program is required.

Background Check Requirements:
Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students be in compliance with the Maricopa County Community College District Supplemental Background Check policy. Program applications will not be accepted without a copy of an Arizona Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card. Upon conditional program admission, the student must comply with all requirements of the current MCCCD background check policy.

Course Sequence by Term

The following is a suggested course sequence by term for the pathway.  Students should keep in mind the items below that affect their success in completing the pathway as listed:

  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term.  It is understood that students may enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Academic achievement is related to initial course placement determined by course placement tests, completion of 100-200 level course pre-/corequisites,  any courses below 100 level, and program prerequisites.
  • Students should meet with an academic advisor, or program director, or counselor who can assist in assessing student needs that may affect course enrollment.  Appropriate resources can be discussed and agreed to in order to address student needs and support successful course completion.

Program Area Key:

  • Critical Rdg = Critical Reading
  • FYC = First Year Composition
  • HUM = Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Mathematics = Mathematics
  • NS = Natural Science
  • Oral Comm = Oral Communication
  • PP = Program Prerequisite
  • SB = Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • RC = Required Courses
  • RE = Restricted Electives

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

Students must earn a grade of "C" or better for all courses required within the program.

Program Prerequisites

Course Name Prerequisites Notes Credits
Program Prerequisite BIO156 or
Introductory Biology for Allied Health or
General Biology (Majors) I
Program Prerequisite BIO202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Program Prerequisite BIO205 Microbiology 4
Program Prerequisite CHM138 Chemistry for Allied Health 3
Program Prerequisite CHM138LL Chemistry for Allied Health Laboratory 1
Program Prerequisite EMT109 CPR for Health Care Provider .5
Program Prerequisite First-Year Composition Any approved General Education course in the First-Year Composition area 6
Program Prerequisite Oral Communication Any approved General Education course in the Oral Communication area 3
Program Prerequisite CRE101 College Critical Reading 3
Program Prerequisite MAT102 Mathematical Concepts/Applications 3
Program Prerequisite Humanities & Fine Arts Any approved General Education course in the Humanities & Fine Arts area 3
Program Prerequisite BIO201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
Program Prerequisite PSY101 Introduction to Psychology 3
Program Prerequisite SOC101 Introduction to Sociology 3

Term 1

Course Name Prerequisites Notes Credits
RC DHE120 Pre-Clinical Dental Hygiene 6
RC DHE117 Dental Radiography 2
RC DHE125 Dental Radiography Laboratory 1
RC DHE127 Prevention Of Dental Disease 3
RC DHE115 Emergency Medicine 2
RC DHE121 Dental Anatomy, Embryology and Histology 2

Term 2

Course Name Prerequisites Notes Credits
RC DHE132 Dental Hygiene Theory I 3
RC DHE133 Dental Hygiene Clinic I 3
RC DHE110 Pharmacology 3
RC DHE119 Head And Neck Anatomy 3
RC DHE201 Dental Materials 2
RC DHE202 Dental Materials Laboratory 1

Term 3

Course Name Prerequisites Notes Credits
RC DHE227 Dental Anesthesia 1
RC DHE212 Dental Hygiene Theory II 2
RC DHE213 Dental Hygiene Clinic II 5
RC DHE112 Oral Pathology 3
RC DHE225 Periodontics 3

Term 4

Course Name Prerequisites Notes Credits
RC DHE232 Dental Hygiene Theory III 2
RC DHE233 Dental Hygiene Clinic III 5
RC DHE219 Practice Management 2
RC DHE229 Community Oral Health 3


Successful completion of all courses in Terms 1, 2, 3, 4 at 77% or higher.

Prerequisites may be taken at anytime but the Required Courses (RC) are to be taken in a fixed block.

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Program Information

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All information is administered by the Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation at Maricopa County Community College District and published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.

View MCCCD's program website for the Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene (