Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Available at: Windward Campus

A dental hygenist conducts a procedure on a sitting patient.

Program Overview

The Dental Hygiene Program prepares the student for the dental hygiene field. A dental hygienist's primary duties include:

  • providing patients with regular oral prophylaxis
  • advanced periodontal therapy
  • dental x-rays
  • dental sealants
  • dental health care instruction for the control of oral diseases and the promotion of oral health.

Graduates will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree. They are eligible to take written examinations including the jurisprudence exam and the national, clinical regional, and state board licensing examinations. After passing these examinations, graduates apply for licensure to practice dental hygiene under the general supervision of a licensed dentist.

The Dental Hygiene Program is a two-year program and runs from August to May each year. Along with classroom lectures, first-year dental hygiene students learn instrument manipulation by practicing on each other and x-ray skills by practicing on dental mannequins in the first semester. First-year dental hygiene students begin patient treatment in the second semester of the Dental Hygiene Program. Students continue to treat patients during the remainder of the program.

A Dental Programs Advisory Committee assists College officials in the implementation of the curriculum under the standards established by the Commission.

The program in Dental Hygiene 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 (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is:

Students, faculty, and other interested parties of the Dental Hygiene Program may submit an appropriate complaint to the Commission on Dental Accreditation. An appropriate complaint is one that directly addresses the program’s compliance with the Commission’s standards, policies and procedures. The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling 1-312-440-4653.



Have questions, please call (361) 698-2858 or email to schedule an appointment with a Dental Hygiene Advisor.  Advising appointments are offered in-office and virtual (email, phone, or online). 

  • Mission

    The Mission of the Del Mar College Dental Hygiene Program is to produce a quality dental hygienist in terms of education, technical expertise, communication skills, and competency in interpersonal relationships.  The program provides instructional support with a low student-faculty ratio at a reasonable cost to the student and experiences a high licensure and employability rate.  The Dental Hygiene Program renders dental hygiene services to the community.

  • Program Goals

    Following are the goals of the Dental Hygiene Program.  In order to advance the mission of Del Mar College and to demonstrate the unique characteristics of occupational education and technology, the dental hygiene program will:

    • Educate students to be quality dental hygienists using skilled faculty in a state-of-the art environment with current scientific technologies and resources.
    • Provide comprehensive laboratory and clinical experiences to advance the students' technical expertise to a level demanded for successful licensure and employability.
    • Develop oral and written communication skills through interactive patient management experience and exposure to collaborative learning needs.
    • Render community service to fulfill the dental health and occupational needs of the South Texas area.
    • Provide opportunities for faculty to model for students the process of valuing continuing education and participation in professional organizations.
    • Preserve the accessibility of dental hygiene education for a diverse population with a variety of educational goals.


As required by 34 CFR 668.43(c): Del Mar College has not yet made the determination if the curriculum of Dental Hygiene, Associate in Applied Science, meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in any U.S. Territory or state other than Texas.

Page last updated August 31, 2023.