patient in lab getting a dental impression

Dental Hygiene


Fourth Annual Dental Dash 5K "Smile Mile" Event

The Dental Hygiene Program provides general education courses in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences during the first year of study. This may be completed on a part time basis with day or evening course offerings. Upon acceptance into the program, the remaining two years provide professional courses designed to coordinate classroom lectures with clinical and laboratory experiences, culminating with the Associate in Applied Science Degree. The last two years are presented during fall and spring semesters, five days a week (usually during the day). Some evening courses may be scheduled.

The Dental Hygiene Program accepts 12 students each year and is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Graduation from this program ensures eligibility to take licensure exams which are required before beginning employment. Graduates are also certified in advanced procedures legal for dental hygienists in the state of Oklahoma.

Program Goals

  • Provide dental hygiene students with knowledge of dental and dental hygiene theory, research and practice related to clinical technique and procedures;
  • Prepare dental hygiene students to perform clinical procedures to the level of competency determined by the Oklahoma State Practice Act;
  • Prepare dental hygiene students and graduates with knowledge of a dental hygienist's role related to employment as an allied dental team member;
  • Encourage participation in the American Dental Hygienists' Association as a student and a graduate;
  • Support and encourage the continuation of the learning process through formal education and personal development;
  • Prepare students and graduates to participate in community dental health services.

Infectious/Contagious Disease Transmission

Bloodborne Infectious and Contagious Diseases: By law, when performing healthcare functions, dental assistants and dental hygienists must protect the health and safety of the public. The Allied Dental Programs written policy regarding treatment of individuals with bloodborne infectious diseases is available upon request. This policy is in accordance with the Guidelines on Infected Health Care Workers adopted by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines, and Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Rules and Regulations Chapter 35.

Dental and allied dental healthcare workers provide services in the oral cavity and come in contact with blood and saliva. Although diseases may be encountered, research indicates that risks are negligible when optimal infection control procedures are practiced. The Allied Dental Programs adhere to current OSHA Guidelines for infection control, based on input from the Center for Disease Control. Procedures undergo periodic review and are updated to meet the most current guidelines. All patients are treated following “standard/universal precautions."

Program Faculty

Kara Hodges
Kara Hodges
Director, Dental Programs Health Sciences Division
(405) 736-0263
Michelle Gaddy
Michelle Gaddy
Coordinator, Dental Assisting Health Sciences Division
(405) 736-0289
Karen O'Neal
Karen O'Neal
Dental Assisting Program Coordinator Health Sciences Division
(405) 733-7581
Kristen Pope
Kristen Pope
Professor Health Sciences Division
(405) 736-0297