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Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists work with dentists to help patients maintain and improve their oral health and quality of life. They examine the mouth; scale, root plane, clean and polish teeth; and expose and interpret x-rays.

Florida Civic Literacy Requirement

Indian River State College requires all incoming students from the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond, to meet the Civic Literacy requirement. All first-time-in-college (FTIC) students entering all Florida College System (FCS) and State University System (SUS) institutions must demonstrate competency in civic literacy by the time they graduate per FL Statute 1007.25 and Florida Board of Governors Regulation 8.006.

Click on the Florida Civic Literacy Competency Requirement page for more information. https://irsc.edu/admissions/florida-civic-literacy-competency.html

Once You Complete the Program

Students completing their IRSC degree can expect to take the Dental Hygiene National and State Licensure Board examinations and seek employment in a private dental office, public health agency, school system, hospital or clinic.

Getting Started

The Dental Hygiene program is a selective-admissions program.  Students are selected based on criteria outlined in the Dental Hygiene Application Book.

Illicit drug use, background check, convictions and immunization status may prevent future employment. In addition, externship sites, employers, and regulations about drug use, criminal backgrounds, and immunization status.

For more information, contact:
Mary Pelletier
mpelleti@irsc.edu

Dental Hygiene Program Information Sessions

Registration for the Virtual Information Session is required. The link to the information session will be provided upon completing the registration.

Upcoming sessions:

Applying to the Dental Hygiene Program

The application for the Summer B 2025 program will be available as of January 6, 2025. The application deadline is April 18, 2025.

To begin the application process:

  1. Read the Dental Hygiene Application Booklet.
  2. Complete and submit the IRSC Application for the Dental Hygiene program (Pay the $30 non-refundable application fee.)

Preference for admission will be given to residents that live in the four-county service area of IRSC:  Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River counties.

Apply Here

Note: If at any time during the application process you have a change in personal information (name change, address, phone number or emails), submit the changes through MyPioneerPortal and to the Health Science Division at 772-462-7550.

Due to House Bill 1507, admission criteria can be affected. This bill has a possibility to change admission requirements for 2022 and beyond based on the Florida Department of Education rule development. For more information on House Bill 1507, visit https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/1507.

Due to Rule 6A-10.024 (16), admission criteria can be affected. This bill has a possibility to change admission requirements for 2024 and beyond on the Florida Department of Education rule department. For more information on this rule, visit:
https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleNo.asp?id=6A-10.024

Licensure Requirements

Indian River State College offers a number of different degrees and certificates leading to professional licensure in the state of Florida.  Some professions require both a degree and the successful completion of additional criteria such as licensure exams, field placements, or clinical hours. Student eligibility to apply to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE) in the State of Florida is defined in, F.S., 466.023 and also includes possession of a valid form of identification. Please visit the Florida Department of Health website to ensure your eligibility.

If you are a student who may choose to reside outside of Florida, IRSC cannot confirm whether this degree program meets educational requirements for professional licensure/certification in your state. Some states have requirements in addition to the program’s curriculum.  If you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene (NBDHE) exam in another state, contact the Board of Dentistry in the state to determine whether this degree will meet their licensure requirements.

Completion of the Dental Hygiene program requirements makes you eligible to apply to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE) in Florida.

Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosure Table for Dental Hygiene

Accreditation

The Indian River State College Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (800) 232-6108 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL. 60611. The Commissions web address is https://coda.ada.org/.

IRSC Dental Clinic and Services

The Dental Hygiene program at IRSC offer dental services for individuals seeking dental care. Services are available to patients of all ages and are by appointment only. IRSC Dental Hygiene students are in training under the direction of experienced and licensed faculty which may result in longer appointment times. Services are offered at reduced prices. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact the IRSC Dental Clinic 772-462-7524.

Additional Program Information

HOSA

This is a national organization which supplements and complements the health occupations education curriculum. HOSA provides students in secondary, postsecondary and collegiate programs with opportunities to develop personal, leadership and career skills needed by healthcare providers. HOSA helps develop the total person, not just job-specific skills. The rapidly changing healthcare system needs workers who are technically skilled, people-oriented and capable of accepting leadership positions as a member of a team. Learn more.

Associate of Science

With an Associate of Science Degree from IRSC, you’ll be well-prepared for a professional career as a dental hygienist. For course descriptions, see the College Catalog.

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