The dental hygienist is a key member of the professional dental team, providing educational and clinical services to community groups and individuals throughout the life span.You will learn to analyze health information, educate, and provide clinical services to improve oral and overall health.


NHTI Dental Hygiene students experience: 

  • High success rate on national written and clinical board exams
  • Positive interactions with community health agencies
  • Excellent preparation for licensure and clinical practice

NHTI Dental Hygiene curricula provides:

  • Close clinical supervision with individual and small group instruction
  • Transferability of general education courses
  • Integration of current technology into education and clinical practice


Dental Hygiene Degree


Course NumberCourse TitleCLLABCR
Fall Semester
#ADED 100CDental Hygiene I202
#ADED 113CClinical Dental Hygiene I+183
#ADED 134COral Anatomy I212
 BIOL 195CAnatomy and Physiology I324
 CHEM 125CIntroduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry324
 ENGL 101CEnglish Composition404
Spring Semester
#ADED 103CDental Hygiene II202
#ADED 114CClinical Dental Hygiene II+183
#ADED 136COral Anatomy II202
#ADED 140CDental Radiology for Dental Hygiene233
 BIOL 196CAnatomy and Physiology II324
 MATH 120CQuantitative Reasoning or   
 MATH xxxChigher level Mathematics Elective*404
Summer Semester
#ADED 162CDental Materials for Dental Hygiene233
#ADED 201CDental Hygiene III212
#ADED 244CPain Management for the Dental Hygienist I132
 BIOL 202CMicrobiology334


Fall Semester
#ADED 126CNutrition202
#ADED 212CClinical Dental Hygiene III+1124
#ADED 242CCommunity Dental Health I202
#ADED 247CDental Hygiene Science – Pharmacology202
#ADED 248CDental Hygiene Science – Oral Pathology202
 PSYC 105CIntroduction to Psychology303
Spring Semester
#ADED 221CClinical Dental Hygiene IV+1124
#ADED 225CDental Hygiene Community Clinic**041
#ADED 227CDental Ethics and Jurisprudence101
#ADED 243CCommunity Dental Health II101
#ADED 246CPain Management for the Dental Hygienist II041
 ENGL 120CCommunications303
 SOCI 105CIntroduction to Sociology303
 XX xxxCHumanities/Fine Arts/Foreign Language Elective303
Summary of Estimated Additional Expenses
Some of the Dental Hygiene Clinics and Labs may be held during evening hours.
# Indicates major field courses.
*  Students may elect to take a higher level math course; MATH 120C or MATH 124C meet this requirement.
** ADED 225C Dental Hygiene Community Clinic will be offered in the fall semester and completed in the Spring semester.
+ All students enrolled in a clinical course will be charged a $500 per semester clinical surcharge. The following courses carry this charge: ADED 113C, ADED 114C, ADED 212C  and ADED 221C.
A grade of “C” or higher is required in BIOL 195C, BIOL 196C, BIOL 202C and CHEM 125C, and in ADED courses (unless course syllabi state otherwise), to progress in the Dental Hygiene Program. Courses with virtual/online labs are not accepted.
Note: Applicants who successfully complete several of the required general science and liberal arts courses by the application deadline will add strength to their application. For more information, contact the Admissions Office.

CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
CR – Number of credit hours for the course

Program Goals

The NHTI Dental Hygiene Program:

  1. Provides a curriculum that integrates general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and the knowledge of current dental hygiene theory, practice, and the provision of dental hygiene care.
  1. Prepares students to think critically and implement the dental hygiene process of care to promote and maintain oral and systemic health for diverse populations in the collaborative practice of dental hygiene.
  1. Prepares students to exercise principles of professional, regulatory, and ethical behavior in implementing oral health care.
  1. Prepares students to commit to professional growth and lifelong learning to maintain compliance and competence through self-assessment and evidence-based decision- making in an evolving health care system.

Technical Standards 

Health, Character and Technical Requirements

The Associate of Science degree in Dental Hygiene is awarded to those who successfully complete and prove competence in all program requirements. As a student, you must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviors deemed essential for the practice of dental hygiene. The dental hygiene program adheres to the NHTI Statement of Nondiscrimination. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities are made to the extent that they do not compromise the academic and performance standards of the program.

The following technical standards describe the essential skills students must possess in the areas of intellect, sensory function, fine and gross motor function, communication, emotional health and behavior.

In order to assume the responsibilities and perform the duties of a dental hygienist, individuals must be able to satisfactorily possess/accomplish the following:

  1. Intellectual abilities requiring reason, analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, self-evaluation and lifelong learning skills are required. Students must be able to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. Comprehension of three-dimensional and spatial relationships is necessary. Consistent, accurate and quick integration of information is required, especially in emergency situations.
  2. Somatic sensation and functional use of all senses is required. Exteroceptive (i.e. touch) and proprioceptive (i.e. position, pressure, movement) is mandatory. Students must also be able to observe demonstration at a distance and close at hand; performance of procedures in the classroom, lab and clinic is required. The student must be able to see fine detail, focus at several distances and discern variations in color, shape and texture in order to differentiate normal and abnormal structures. Students must be able to utilize tactile sense to perceive and interpret vibrations associated with clinical procedures. Visual and intellectual ability is necessary to acquire information from documents such as charts, radiographs, computer images and other modes of delivery.
    Students must have sufficient hearing in order to develop reasonable skills of percussion and auscultation.
  3. Sufficient fine and gross motor function is required to perform a variety of clinical procedures essential to providing dental hygiene care for patients. Examples of essential motor skills include manipulation of small objects and materials, palpation, percussion, auscultation and other maneuvers. Fine motor ability is a critical necessary skill. Gross motor ability is required in order to perform functions such as basic life support, transfer and position of patients as well as the operator position around the patient and dental chair. Students must be able to operate both foot and hand controls.
  4. Students must be able to communicate effectively with patients, peers, faculty and guests. Individuals must have sufficient command of the English language in order to retrieve information from textbooks, lectures, exams, etc. Students must be able to communicate in verbal, nonverbal and written form.
  5. Students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, exercise of good judgment, and prompt completion of all responsibilities associated with the care of patients. The development of mature, sensitive, professional relationships with patients is essential. Professionalism, compassion, integrity, empathy and respect for patients are all personal qualities that are necessary for the dental hygienist. Students must be able to endure physically taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. A student must be able to accept constructive criticism and respond appropriately by modifying behavior.

Service Learning & Internship Considerations

NHTI’s excellent practicum opportunities foster hands-on learning in community dental health. You will develop awareness of the dental hygienist’s role in improving oral health for individuals and groups while applying your knowledge and skills in the NHTI Dental Clinic and various public health settings. In these environments, you must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stresses that characterize the dental professionals’ responsibilities with patients and/or agency clients. Students must exercise sound judgment, accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty member, establish effective rapport, and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships and confidentiality on all levels. NHTI Clinical / Practicum / Internship Information.

Background Check and Drug and Alcohol Testing

As a pre-clinical requirement, you will complete a criminal background check and drug and alcohol screening through agencies chosen by the program. In addition, all students are subject to random screening throughout the program without exception. Students learn procedural and cost information during the admissions process, upon admission, and are responsible for associated testing costs.

Bloodborne Pathogens and Infectious Diseases

As a student in the Dental Hygiene Program, you may be exposed to blood-borne pathogens and infectious diseases. Faculty provide students with theory and instruction on infectious diseases, mechanisms of disease transmission, and infection control procedures to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Current instruction includes protocols published by national public health agencies, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health Requirements

Once admitted, students must provide documents for Clinical Clearance to the Health Services Office by July 17, 2020.Failure to submit this information will prohibit the student from entering the program. Students must maintain clinical clearance throughout the program to remain enrolled and progress in the program.

For a complete listing of immunizations and clinical clearance requirements, please see health requirements for Allied Health students. NHTI arranges professional liability insurance for students, applying fees to student accounts.

Career Paths

Dental hygienists work in clinical, corporate, public health, research, and educational settings. Dental hygienists also serve as program administrators and some have become successful entrepreneurs, starting their own businesses.

The Roles of the Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists provide a wide range of preventative and therapeutic dental services, including dental hygiene assessment and care planning. Services include oral dental and periodontal examination, scaling and debridement, pain management, radiography, dental sealants, in-office whitening, and oral hygiene instruction for a variety of patients.

Dental hygienists are professionals, licensed by the state in which they practice, who complete extensive educational and clinical preparation in oral disease prevention. Effective oral hygiene prevents periodontal disease and tooth decay, thereby improving general health. With increased consumer awareness of the connection between oral and overall health, dental hygiene careers continue to grow. Find out more about Roles of the Dental Hygienist.

Employment Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, employment of dental hygienists is projected to  grow 33 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. As their practices expand, dentists will hire more hygienists to perform routine dental care, allowing the dentist to see more patients. In addition, as the large baby-boom population ages and people keep more of their original teeth than previous generations did, the need to maintain and treat these teeth will continue to drive demand for dental care.

Federal health legislation is expected to expand the number of patients who have access to health insurance, including new or expanded dental insurance coverage. As a result, the demand for all dental services, including those performed by hygienists, is expected to increase.

The salary of a dental hygienist depends primarily upon the responsibilities associated with the specific position, the practice setting, and the geographic location of employment. Full or part-time employment, and benefits provided are also factors. New Hampshire Employment Security provides wage and employment estimates for several occupations in New Hampshire. Dental hygienists earn salaries equal to other health care personnel with similar training and experience such as nurses.

Professional Associations

Use the links below to research the dental hygiene career and to connect with local association members. You may also be able to join an association of interest, at a reduced rate, as a student member. The student chapter of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA) is a very active service organization at NHTI.

American Dental Hygienists’ Association

American Dental Hygienists’ Association-New Hampshire Chapter

Dental Assisting National Board

American Dental Association


“NHTI and the Dental Hygiene program has afforded me so many opportunities. My education at NHTI has consistently been the foundation of my career and the stepping stone into my dream job working with kids and families.”

Kendra, Class of 2015

“I attribute my successful career as a dental hygienist to the education and foundation I received as a student at the NHTI DH program. The professors and instructors had our best interest as students, that we were fully prepared for the workplace and they held students to a high standard of success. It made me the best version of a professional and hygienist I could be and I’m very thankful for that!”

Aundrea, Class of 2017

“NHTI’s Dental Hygiene program has taught me everything I needed to know for the “real world”. I became the clinician I am today from the guidance of the professors. What I liked the most about the program was that everything we learned from the beginning to the end was applied within our clinical portion. After receiving my Associate’s degree, I wanted to learn more about dental hygiene so I went on to receive my Bachelor’s degree and I don’t regret it!” 

Mymy, Class of 2018

“My time at NHTI as a Dental Hygiene student was filled with success! Any program has its ups and downs, but the DH program and all of the faculty strived to help each and every one of us succeed in ways we never thought we could!”

Heather, SADHA President – Class of 2019, CDA, RDH

Dental Hygiene Summary of Additional Expenses


UNH Health Fair
Boys & Girls Club
NHTI Wellness Fair

NHTI Organization Fair


Yankee Dental Congress
Boys & Girls Club
Leroy brushing

80 Credits Required

Accreditation Statement

The NHTI Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and can be contacted at (312)440-4653 or 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611


of students qualify for financial aid