Pearl River Community College

Dental Hygiene

Program Information

Location(s) of Program: Forrest County Center

Brief Description of Program: Four semester program after core academic requirements are met. A.A.S. degree awarded upon completion of the program.

What Dental Hygienists Do

Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. 

Duties

Dental hygienists typically do the following:

  • Remove tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth
  • Apply sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth
  • Take and develop dental x rays
  • Keep track of patient care and treatment plans
  • Teach patients oral hygiene, such as how to brush and floss correctly

Dental hygienists are skilled health care providers that specialize in the teeth and surrounding tissues of the oral cavity.  Dental hygienists are trained to recognize early signs and symptoms of oral and systemic diseases and how oral and systemic health together affect the overall health of the patient.  Dental hygienists are trained to use a variety of instruments to remove calculus, plaque, and stains from tooth surfaces.  A series of examination and screenings gives insight to the hygienist to develop an individualized care plan to restore a person’s mouth to health.  All of these tasks are done with optimal infection control procedures to provide safety to the hygienist and patient.

Essential Requirements of a person in this career field: Good people skills; Excellent hand/eye coordination; Ability to work in a team environment

Instructor Contact Information for the Program:

Possible Careers in this Program: Private Practice, Sales, Education

What a student can expect from a career in this field: Very hands on – A career in Dental Hygiene prepares you to work one on one with patients providing educational, preventative, and therapeutic services.

Possible earnings of jobs in these career field: On average $22 – $30/ hour

Mission of Program: To offer an allied health program which upon successful completion will qualify students for entry – level employment in the field of dental hygiene.

Goals of Program: To provide the academic foundation as well as the technological education and clinical practice enabling the graduate to have the knowledge and skills to practice dental hygiene competently, ethically, and legally in the State of MS.