Dental hygiene students with patient

Dental Hygiene - FAQ

Do you still have questions about the program, careers after graduation, or how to get started? Take a look at the frequently asked questions or talk with an advisor to get the help you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our dental hygiene program is highly competitive. Most years we receive more than 80 applications for 18 spaces. The college GPA of admitted students was 3.68.

Yes. You will be required to complete observation hours in these specific services in the dental setting to apply:

Filling/Restoration, Local Anesthesia/Injection, Radiographs, Periodontal Evaluation, Dental Examination, Oral Cancer Screening/Exam, Unit Set-up/Tear-down, Dental Prophylaxis, Dental Scaling and Root Planing, Ultrasonic instrumentation, Patient Education/Oral Homecare Instructions.

Please meet with an advisor to get additional details on this full application requirement as it does change slightly each year.

No work experience is needed in order to apply. Applicants who have previous dental care experience can earn points at the time of interviews based on the type and length of experience.

You are highly encouraged to seek dental hygiene public health volunteer work. Below are approved outreach organizations:

  • Compassion Connect
  • Compassion Gresham
  • Good News Dental
  • Medical Teams International
  • Caring Hands Worldwide Free Dental Clinic

The program is extremely rigorous. It is strongly advised to not work while you are in the program. If you must work, let us help you make an action plan to see what is appropriate for your situation. You are also advised to not make large life changes while you are in the program (i.e. getting married, have children, etc.) due to the time commitment needed to be successful.

Not at this time.

The course description must include a background in organic and/or biochemistry. The courses listed below from the stated institutions can be accepted in lieu of CH106.

  • CHEM131 from Washington colleges
  • CH123 from Oregon State University
  • CH102 from Portland Community College
  • CH112 from Clackamas Community College or MHCC between 2017 and 2019

Immunizations - Accepted students need to provide vaccination records and/or immunity to the following infectious diseases: Hepatitis B, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis, Varicella, and COVID-19. Students must also demonstrate they test negative for Tuberculosis (TB). Admitted students need to begin confirming their immunizations as soon as they accept their position in the program.

Criminal background checks and drug testing - The program requires you to complete a criminal background check and drug screening after acceptance. Please note, this drug screening will check for drugs that contain amphetamines, barbiturates, opioids, benzodiazepines, and marijuana. If you are taking any prescribed medication that may contain these drugs you will need to meet with the program director before completing the drug screen. If you have concerns about your background and success in the program, please attend an informational session to discuss your concerns with the program faculty.

If you have a criminal history, we strongly encourage you to call the program director at 503-491-7128 and/or the Oregon Board of Dentistry at 971-673-3200 and inquire about whether or not licensure is possible in your situation. It is often handled on a case-by-case basis at the time of licensing application, so do not wait until you have completed your education only to find that you may be ineligible for licensure, which is required for employment.

Orientation for accepted students – A mandatory program orientation will be held for accepted students in late spring / early summer each year. Attendance is required.

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