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. Students learn to analyze health information, educate, and provide clinical services to improve oral and overall health. Established in 1970, this program graduates effective dental hygienists who enjoy rewarding, successful careers serving a variety of patients and populations in N.H. and beyond. NHTI offers the only dental hygiene program in N.H., providing excellence in dental hygiene education. Graduates are well prepared with the skills and knowledge required of professional dental hygienists. NHTI Dental Hygiene students experience: 

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

The 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

The NHTI Dental Hygiene program:

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

Download the Dental Hygiene Mission, Goals, and Competencies PDF.

Curriculum Abbreviations

  • 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

First Year


Fall Semester
ADED 100CDental Hygiene I1202
ADED 113CClinical Dental Hygiene I1,2183
ADED 134COral Anatomy I1212
BIOL 195CAnatomy and Physiology I324
CHEM 125CIntroduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry324
ENGL 101CEnglish Composition404
Spring Semester
ADED 103CDental Hygiene II1202
ADED 114CClinical Dental Hygiene II1,2183
ADED 136COral Anatomy II1202
ADED 140CDental Radiology for Dental Hygiene1233
BIOL 196CAnatomy and Physiology II324
MATH 120CQuantitative Reasoning or   
MATH xxxCHigher-level Mathematics elective*404
Summer Semester
ADED 162CDental Materials for Dental Hygiene1233
ADED 201CDental Hygiene III1212
ADED 244CPain Management for the Dental Hygienist I1132
BIO 202CMicrobiology334

Second Year

ADED 126CNutrition1202
ADED 212CClinical Dental Hygiene III1,21124
ADED 242CCommunity Dental Health I1202
ADED 247CDental Hygiene Science – Pharmacology1202
ADED 248CDental Hygiene Science – Oral Pathology1202
PSYC 105CIntroduction to Psychology303
Spring Semester
ADED 221CClinical Dental Hygiene IV1,21124
ADED 225CDental Hygiene Community Clinic1041
ADED 227CDental Ethics and Jurisprudence1101
ADED 243CCommunity Dental Health II1101
ADED 246CPain Management for the Dental Hygienist II1041
ENGL 120CCommunications303
SOCI 105CIntroduction to Sociology303
XX xxxCHumanities/Fine Arts/Language elective303
Total Credits80

1Indicates major field courses   

2All 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. 

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.

The mission of the NHTI – Concord’s Community College Dental Hygiene program is to advance the mission of the college by providing a learning environment in which each dental hygiene graduate gains the knowledge, skills, and values to provide comprehensive educational, preventive, and therapeutic services reflecting the competencies vital to our community and the profession of dental hygiene.

Priority consideration will be given to students whose applications are complete and received by the Admissions Office by January 27, 2023 for the Fall 2023 semester.

  • College preparatory level courses in biology and chemistry, with labs, with a C or higher
  • Algebra I with a C or higher, or NHTI’s MATH 092C with a C or higher
  • Informational group interview with the Dental Admissions Committee; qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule this interview after the application deadline.
  • Observation of professional practices in a dental office for a period of not less than 20 hours; students must submit the completed Dental Hygiene Observation Form to the Admissions Office by the application deadline. The completed observation is valid for 2 years only. Current dental office employees are not required to complete the hours of observation but are required to complete and submit the observation form.

Admission to the Dental Hygiene program is competitive. Selection is determined by a cumulative point system based on high school prerequisite courses and grades, and college courses and grades, in addition to the observation/essay and interview. The best qualified candidates will be invited to interview; interviews are limited to approximately double program capacity. 

Only courses completed (with final grades) by the application deadline will be considered for points in the application review process. Double points are awarded for college science course grades (Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Microbiology, and Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry). These science courses must be completed with a C or higher and no more than 5 years prior to the start term of the program to be applicable. Courses with virtual/online labs are not accepted, except for labs completed online in 2020-21 due to COVID-19.

Applicants for the Dental Hygiene program are encouraged to complete most of their college general education courses in advance of applying to the program to obtain a sufficient number of points to be competitive.

Already enrolled at NHTI?

Students currently who wish to enter the Dental Hygiene program must complete and submit the Change of Program form prior to the application deadline and submit it to the Admissions Office at

The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to:
  • Discern and manage the ethical issues facing dental hygiene practice in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Acquire and synthesize information in a critical, scientific, and effective manner.
  • Contribute to improving the knowledge, skills, and values of the profession.
  • Provide planned educational services using appropriate interpersonal communication skills and educational strategies to promote optimal health.
  • Initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • Systematically collect, correlate, critically analyze, and document data on the general, oral, and psychosocial health status for diverse patients using methods consistent with medico-legal-ethical principles.
  • Formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is evidence-based and patient-centered.
  • Provide specialized care that includes educational, preventive, and therapeutic services designed to assist the patient in achieving and maintaining oral health goals.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of implemented educational, preventive, and therapeutic services and make modifications as necessary.

Program Outcomes

National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (first attempt)
Year # Students NHTI National
2017 34 100% 94%
2018 25 96% 94%
2019 30 97% 92%
2020 29 100% 90%
20210 29 97% 87%
ADEX Patient Treatment Clinical Exam (first attempt)
Year # Students NHTI
2017 34 100%
2018 25 96%
2019 30 97%
2020 29 100%
2021 29 93%

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

The Roles of the Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists provide a range of preventive 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. Dental hygienists are professionals, licensed by the state in which they practice, who complete extensive educational and clinical preparation in oral disease prevention.

Employment Outlook

The salary of a dental hygienist depends on the responsibilities associated with the specific position, the practice setting, and the geographic location of employment. Full- or part-time employment and benefits are factors.
Dental hygienists earn salaries equal to healthcare personnel with similar training and experience such as nurses.

Professional Associations

NHTI encourages students to research the dental hygiene career and connect with local association members. Students may join an association at a reduced rate as a student member. The student chapter of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association is an active service organization at NHTI.

NHTI encourages dental hygiene graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Our graduates successfully transfer to colleges and universities around the country. Because of the extensive knowledge and skills of dental hygienists, professional organizations are discussing the bachelor’s degree as the entry-level degree for dental hygiene.

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.

Dental Hygiene students apply their skills in the NHTI Dental Clinic, serving more than 7,000 patients. They learn the importance of access to oral healthcare and experience the role of the dental hygienist in community health. The Community Clinic course places students in public health settings where they shadow dental hygienists.

Dental Hygiene students must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviors deemed essential for the practice of dental hygiene. The program adheres to the NHTI Statement of Nondiscrimination. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities are made to the extent that there’s no fundamental alteration to curriculum, course objectives, or health, character, and technical standards of the program. Students need:

  • 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.
  • 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. Students must be able to see fine detail, focus at several distances, and discern variations in color, shape, and texture to differentiate normal and abnormal structures. Students must be able to use 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 to develop reasonable skills of percussion and auscultation.
  • 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.
  • Students must be able to communicate effectively with patients, peers, faculty, and guests. Individuals must have sufficient command of the English language to retrieve information from textbooks, lectures, exams, etc. Students must be able to communicate in verbal, nonverbal, and written form.
  • Students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their 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. They must be able to accept constructive criticism and respond appropriately by modifying behavior.

NHTI’s practicum opportunities foster hands-on learning in community dental health. Students develop awareness of the dental hygienist’s role in improving oral health while applying knowledge and skills in the NHTI Dental Clinic and various public health settings. Students 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. 


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

Dental Hygiene students 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, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Students who have withdrawn from the program or have been suspended from the program because of a failure in a non-clinical course may be considered for readmission only one time. Readmission is not guaranteed. Students who have been dismissed from the program because of a failure in a clinical course will not be considered but may apply to other NHTI programs. Contact the Allied Dental Education Department for details.

Once admitted, students must provide documents for clinical clearance to the Health Services Office by the deadline. Failure to do so will prohibit them from entering the program. Students must maintain clinical clearance throughout the program to remain enrolled and progress in the program. For a complete list of immunizations and clinical clearance requirements, refer to the Allied Health Students tab on the NHTI Health Services webpage. NHTI arranges professional liability insurance for students, applying fees to student accounts.


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