Programs And Courses

Dental Hygiene (3490)

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Dental Hygiene: Associate in Arts (AA)  (3490)

ATTENTION: This program has been inactivated by the department for Fall 2018 and will no longer be available for new student enrollments. Interested new students should consider reviewing the Dental Hygiene AS degree (major code #3416)  - new Fall 2018.

Are you looking for a career in dentistry that provides flexible work hours and varied employment opportunities? Do you enjoy one-on-one interactions with individuals where you can use education to improve their health?

If you’re passionate about helping others achieve better oral health, we want to help you turn that passion into a rewarding career as a dental hygienist. A dental hygienist is a vital member of the dental health team as the person provides preventive dental services and oral health education to patients.


What can I do with this in the workforce?  

By earning an Associate in Arts (AA) in dental hygiene, you will be prepared to enter the workforce as a dental hygienist. You will be able to work in private offices or public health clinics. You may also gain employment with dental equipment manufacturers, dental product sales, insurance departments, researchers or educators.

This may be your ideal career choice if you are:

  • A patient, compassionate person
  • Physically fit and able to spend long hours on your feet
  • Detail-oriented
  • An effective communicator
  • A team-player, willing to work collaboratively


What is the average salary?

Explore YOUR career with Career Coach! Career Coach is a helpful tool that will assist you in developing a path from your education to the job market. With Career Coach, you can find:

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  • Number of individuals currently employed within that occupation
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What is HACC’s program like?

As a dental hygienist, you will provide patients with preventive dental services and oral health education. Therefore, we teach you to:

  • Provide patient assessment by reviewing health history and recording vital signs.
  • Perform head, neck and radiographic examinations, oral cancer screenings and dental and periodontal charting.
  • Manage:
    • Treatment planning
    • Patient education
    • Administration of local anesthesia
    • Removal of deposits and stains from the teeth
    • Application of chemotherapeutic agents
    • Placement of dental sealants, construction on bleaching and fluoride trays

As you complete our program, you will: 

  • Utilize the dental hygiene process of care (assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation) in the provision of comprehensive treatment to all clients without discrimination
  • Demonstrate accountability in dental hygiene practice
  • Apply the roles of dental hygiene to various practice settings - demonstrating competence, ethical behavior and professionalism
  • Participate as an integral member of the dental health team providing expertise in the area of preventive health care
  • Perform to the level of competency specified by the faculty, the state board of dental examiners, employers and those oral health services legally approved for a dental hygienist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other states and territories
  • Value a commitment to professional organizations and life-long learning

Our program is selective, which means your admission into HACC does not guarantee admission into the program. Before you begin the clinical portion of our program, you must complete and pay for the following tests and complete other criteria.  

  • Background checks
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • Drug and alcohol screens
  • Physical examination and immunizations

Pennsylvania Dental Law #216 states that the State Board of Dentistry may refuse to license a person who has a crime or misdemeanor conviction involving a morally corrupt act or a felony.   
If you have any questions about these entry requirements, please visit the health careers section of our website or email us.

Our program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is a specialized body recognized by the US Department of Education.


What classes will I take?

We encourage you to:
  • View summaries of every course at HACC by browsing our class schedules database.
  • Review our program guide (pdf) to view a list of required courses, recommended course sequencing and program competencies.
  • Browse our advising checksheet (pdf), which is also an excellent tool to help you personalize your course load each term and manage your overall advancement through our programs.


Can I transfer my credits to a four-year college or university?

Yes! Although our program is designed to lead you directly into the workforce, transfer opportunities are available if you wish to continue your education and pursue a bachelor’s degree. Affordably YOURS, our programs are designed to be flexible enough to transfer to a wide variety of colleges and universities with no loss of credit. However, each individual college has its own unique program. Therefore, we encourage to select a four-year school as soon as possible. This will allow you to learn the transfer college’s program requirements so that you can take the proper classes at HACC.

Browse our various transfer options:

Bloomsburg University of PA: Bachelor of Applied Science Technical Leadership (ONLINE & campus) (pdf)

Pennsylvania College of Technology: Dental Hygiene (pdf)

Siena Heights University Online: Dental Hygiene into Bachelor Degree Applied Science (ONLINE) (pdf)


Where can I complete this program?

We offer the clinical portion of the program at our Harrisburg Campus.


Does HACC offer scholarships?

Yes! Thanks to the HACC Foundation, scholarships are available. Please visit for details and to apply.


When can I apply? 

HACC offers courses in the spring, summer and fall, and you can submit your application online anytime. When enrolling into the Dental Hygiene Program, you must apply to the non-clinical component of the program first. Please use the program code 349P with your application to ensure that you apply to the correct one.


How can I learn more? 

To learn more about our program and admission requirements, please contact an admissions counselor, visit the health careers section of our website or email us. We look forward to speaking with you!