Dental Hygienist School

Next available program openings are in fall 2026. Contact the counseling and advising center to learn more.

Lakeland's accredited Dental Hygiene program prepares you to become a valuable member of the dental team.

Our students graduate with their Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene ready for the workforce. Students receive the best education and hands-on enrichment in the region, preparing them to assume caring roles as responsible and effective dental hygienists.

This 2-year (75 credit) program develops oral health care professionals capable of critical thinking, problem-solving and responsible decision-making who go on to make critical and effective parts of a dental team.

Lakeland Dental Hygiene Graduates Excel in the Field

The primary responsibility of our rigorous educational experience is to stress excellence and ethics in delivery of dental hygiene services to people of all backgrounds, ages and stages of life. During your Lakeland education, you will learn:

  • Clinical procedures: Master the techniques for periodontal instrumentation (scaling and polishing teeth), dental X-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, impressions, and local anesthesia administration.
  • Patient care & education: Develop exceptional communication skills to educate patients on proper oral hygiene routines and promote optimal oral health.
  • Professionalism: Learn industry standards and best practices for data collection, managing patient records, and maintaining a sterile environment.
Benefits of a Dental Hygiene Career
  • High demand & job security: Dental hygienists are in high demand across various settings, including private practices, public health clinics, schools and hospitals.
  • Competitive salary & growth potential: Enjoy a rewarding career with a competitive salary and opportunities for advancement.
  • Flexible Schedule: Many dental hygienists benefit from flexible work schedules, allowing for a healthy work-life balance.
Dental Hygiene - A Diverse Field of Study

Registered Dental hygienists have the ability to work in a variety of professional settings, in diverse roles across many sectors in health care.

The most familiar and recognized work done by dental hygienists is in the private dental office where they perform numerous critical services designed to detect and prevent diseases of the mouth. These include periodontal instrumentation (scaling and polishing teeth); examining the head, neck, and oral areas for signs of disease; educating patients regarding oral hygiene, taking or developing X-rays and applying fluoride or sealants. In this setting, registered dental hygienists play a vital role in protecting the oral health of the American public.

In the public health field, dental hygienists conduct research studies and epidemiological surveys to evaluate the oral health needs of people in various population groups, such as the elderly, the disabled and children. The findings are used to develop oral health care programs aimed at solving problems specific to each group - ranging from recommending such public health measures as water fluoridation to producing specially tailored educational materials.

Beyond the private dental office, dental hygienists can be found in numerous other settings; nursing homes and long-term care facilities, hospitals, corporate health facilities, school systems and public health clinics.

Dental hygienists also work as educators teaching in dental hygiene and dental school programs, providing continuing education seminars, and research - conducting clinical research and/or collecting and analyzing scientific data.

More About Lakeland's Dental Hygiene Degree Program
  • Our program incorporates hands-on learning through clinical rotations, providing valuable experience working with real patients.
  • To ensure student success, we consider factors like GPA and prerequisite coursework during the application process. You can find a detailed program curriculum and admissions information in our college catalog.
  • As an allied health program, dental hygiene requires a commitment to patient safety and ethical conduct. Background checks and drug testing are required.
Licensing, Testing & Competency Exams

Dental hygiene is a licensed profession. Following graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program, the applicant is required to demonstrate competency by successful completion of board examinations that may include both written and clinical sections. The license to practice dental hygiene is issued by the state board of dentistry in the state where employment is pursued.

For one to practice as a dental hygienist in Ohio, the board examinations that must be successfully completed in order to apply for licensure are as follows:

National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE)

  • one full day computerized exam

Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA)

  • manikin treatment clinical exam
  • objective structured (simulated) clinical exam

Ohio State Dental Board Ethics/Law Exam

Each indicated agency will mail the exam scores to each individual student.

A criminal background check which includes fingerprinting is a component of the application for licensure. Any student who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor related to substance abuse, or crime involving moral turpitude, may be denied licensure by the Ohio State Dental Board. Students requiring further clarification are encouraged to contact the Ohio State Dental Board at 614.466.2580.

Once the specified exams are completed at competency level and upon filing the designated license application, a license for dental hygiene practice in the State of Ohio will be issued by the Ohio State Dental Board. Annually the dental hygiene program director will inform students of dates and fees for the stated exams.

The dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Ready to Take the First Step?

For Currently Enrolled Students

Layce Artman I graduated with my associate degree from Lakeland while at the same time graduating as Valedictorian from high school. I plan to attend the Holden University Center to complete my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Layce Artman College Credit Plus

Michelle Timms One thing I really love about Lakeland and being in the honors program is that the teachers have small classes and they are very devoted to their students. My friends at four-year institutions are taking the same intro classes that I am, but in large lecture halls with a lot more students. Michelle Timms Associate of Arts

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