Dental Hygiene A.S. at EFSC
Dental Hygienists are licensed professionals who provide oral healthcare to patients in dental offices, public health facilities, long-term care facilities and other settings. The services provided by dental hygienists include removal of deposits from the teeth, instruction on personal oral hygiene and disease prevention, exposure of oral radiographs of the teeth and related oral structures and application of topical fluoride and pit and fissure sealants.
Dental hygienists incorporate education and prevention with provision of clinical services to ensure delivery of optimal oral health. Individuals interested in the profession should enjoy helping others, display manual dexterity and demonstrate above average communication, interpersonal and decision-making skills.
The Dental Hygiene program is limited access with a customized application process. For more information about the program, click on the categories below.
Dental Hygiene A.S. Program
Dental Hygiene at EFSC Overview
Eastern Florida State College offers a fully accredited, two-year Associate in Science degree in Dental Hygiene. The curriculum is rigorous and includes general education courses, science education courses and dental specific courses. Students complete at least two years of academic study including clinical practice under the supervision of EFSC faculty in the college's dental clinic and designated external clinic practice sites. General education and science courses may be completed prior to admission to the program or concurrently with the dental specific program courses. Students are encouraged to complete these support courses prior to program admission.
During the final semester of the program, students are eligible to take Dental Hygiene National Board Exams. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an "Expanded Functions Certificate" and "Local Anesthesia Administration Certificate" which enables them to perform designated tasks and delivery of local anesthesia, as permitted by the Florida Board of Dentistry. Upon graduation and successful completion of the National Board Examination, the graduate may apply for and take state licensure examinations in any of the 50 states. Upon Licensure the graduate is considered a Certified Registered Dental Hygienist. This Certified R.D.H. designation represents accreditation, trust, and a professional credential you have earned and will preserve through continued lifelong education.
Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
The careful management of infection and cross contamination is extremely important in the dental field. The Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting follows the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2003, and all subsequent revisions.
Students enrolled in a Dental program may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. All students must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases, the mechanism of disease transmission, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, and CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in the Dental Health-Care Setting.
Dental Hygiene Program Accreditation Information & Third Party Comments Solicitation
The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation
(CODA). The program is currently on full accreditation with reporting. This status
was not implemented because of any academic issues. There were concerns about possible
air quality issues in Cocoa Campus, Building 20, including mold. Although no toxic
mold spores were detected, the college immediately began mold testing and remediation
efforts including dehumidification, A/C modification, and extensive cleaning efforts
to address both faculty and student safety concerns. In addition, most lecture classes
were moved to Cocoa Campus, Building 17 to limit possible faculty and staff exposure.
The Dental Clinic cannot be moved at this time due to equipment and plumbing requirements.
The program expects to be placed back on the normal full CODA accreditation cycle (7 years) after the 6-month mold reporting has been evaluated (November, 2019).
Non-mycotoxic mold spores should not cause severe symptoms in non-sensitive individuals without immune compromise. If you have a medically documented mold sensitivity or immunocompromise, you should speak to the departmental faculty and the Student Access for Improved Learning Office (SAIL) for possible accommodations.
The full report from the mold remediation company is available for review in the Office of the Provost, Cocoa Campus, Bldg. 12/208A.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda
The program must solicit third-party comments through appropriate notification of communities of interest and the public such as faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers that pertain to the standards of policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process. The accreditation happens every 7 years. The next site visit will be in 2025. All third party comments are due in the Commission's office no later than 60 days prior to the site visit.
Employment Outlook & Advantages
- Career potential and stability
- Attractive income potential
- Direct patient care
- Pleasant surroundings
- Flexible work schedule (full-time or part-time)
For more details on employment advantages, job opportunities, daily tasks and training, visit the American Dental Association website for detailed information and a video that highlights the rewarding career of Dental Hygiene.
Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow by 38% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to spur the demand for preventative dental services, which dental hygienists often provide. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Career opportunities exist in private dental practices, dental clinics, public health, dental product sales, research, and education with appropriate educational preparation.
Meet a Graduate
"I chose dental hygiene as a career because the stable hours fit my lifestyle. I was working full time and then after I had my son I now work three days a week because I want to be home part time."