patient in lab getting a dental impression

Dental Hygiene


Rose State College has a Dental Assisting Program and a Dental Hygiene Program. What is the difference between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant?

A registered Dental Hygienist is a licensed professional who provides for patients preventative and therapeutic dental hygiene services which help to arrest and prevent decay and periodontal disease. Dental hygienists practice in health-oriented settings (public and private) as clinicians, health promoters, educators, consumer advocates, researchers and administrators. Formal higher education and qualifying exams are required. After completion of an accredited dental hygiene program and the awarding of a degree, licensure is required for employment.

I applied for the program more than 3 years ago. Will my previous file still be acceptable?

Some information might still be acceptable to use for the current application period; however you may have to retake courses that have expired due to stale credits. Be sure you have updated your ACT score as it must have been taken within ten years of the application.

I currently hold a higher education degree. Do I still have to take the ACT?

Yes. Applications without a current ACT score is considered incomplete and will not be considered.

Is the program accredited?

Yes. The Rose State College Dental Hygiene Program is accredited through the Commission on Dental Accreditation, American Dental Association.

Does acceptance to RSC or taking the required pre-requisite course guarantee admission to the dental hygiene program?

No. There are a limited number of positions (12) available in the Program. Program admission is through a specific application process. The selection is very competitive.

If I take the general education courses ahead of time, can I complete the program faster?

No. Even though you must take some general education courses prior to your acceptance in to the program, it will still take you two years to complete the Dental Hygiene Program courses. The courses follow a specific sequence and are arranged so the covered content builds upon the previous courses. Courses are not offered out of order.

Is the program offered on a part-time schedule?

No. Although some general education and pre-requisite course requirements may be taken part-time, the Dental Hygiene Program is only offered as a full-time program.

Are program courses offered at night?

No. Pre-requisite course requirements may be taken in the evenings but all of the Dental Hygiene Program coursework is offered in the daytime.

I have completed a dental assisting program but I am not sure my certificate from the program will transfer. Will I be able to receive points on my Rose State College Dental Hygiene Program application?

Points may be awarded at the time of application if the applicant has completed a certificate or degree from a dental assisting program that is accredited with the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. A listing of accredited dental assisting programs is available online at

Will any of my dental assisting coursework transfer to your program?

Unless the Program is accredited with the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, your coursework will not transfer. You may complete a Degree Audit through the Rose State College Office of Admissions.

I have a degree in dentistry and dental hygiene from another country (other than Canada). Will my courses transfer?

No. Only course credits earned at an accredited college of higher education will be considered for transfer credits. You may complete a Degree Audit through the Rose State College Office of Admissions.

When does the entering class begin?

All students admitted to the Dental Hygiene Program begin their first semester Program coursework in the fall.

Are there any physical requirements needed for the Dental Hygiene Program?

Yes. You can find more detailed information on the Dental Hygiene Advisement Packet under the heading: Physical and Mental Qualifications, or view them here:

You must be able to safely and properly complete all tasks and activities involved in the classroom, lab, pre-clinical and clinical aspects of this program.

Do I need to have dental experience to be accepted into the Program?

No, although dental experience is helpful at the beginning of the Program, dental hygiene is a separate entity of dentistry and requires a different subset of clinical skills. The applicant with dental experience should be open-minded to learning specific skills related to the profession. The Program requires all applicants to observe or to have been employed in a dental office setting. It is intended that the applicant will take this opportunity during the observations time to learn about the duties and responsibilities of each dental team member.

Applicants with prior dental office experience may receive application points according to the time they have been employed and the duties they have performed. Verification is required.

Will I be exposed to risks or hazards?

Yes. Like other allied healthcare professionals, you may be exposed to infectious diseases.
Dental and allied dental healthcare workers provide services in the oral cavity and come in contact with blood and saliva. Proper procedures for radiation health/safety, sterilization, infection and disease control, and personal protection are taught throughout the Program and strictly enforced.

I must work while going to school. Is this possible?

It is strongly recommended that students refrain from working while they are enrolled as a Dental Hygiene Program student. Successful students' present high levels of discipline and organization and a work schedule can impede the progress and success of a student. The academic rigors and the time commitment for clinical and other school-related activities leave little time for employment. The program is scheduled as a full time college academic program. It is recommended that prospective applicants have a financial plan and savings in place to ease the stress of a decreased income.

After admission to the Dental Hygiene Program, are there grade requirements to stay in the Program?

You must maintain a “C” or better in each Dental Hygiene Program course in order to progress to the next semester. In addition, clinical requirement are numerous and must be accomplished prior to the end of the course in order to proceed to the next course. Requirements are included in all clinical courses but the second year has the heaviest load of clinical requirements.

Is financial aid available for Dental Hygiene students?

Contact the Rose State Financial Aid office at 733-7424 for details assistance. There are a few opportunities are available to enrolled Dental Hygiene Program students. As with other course enrollments, financial assistance may be available to you in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, etc., depending on need, academic performance, funds available and student performance.

Will I be a licensed dental hygienist upon successful completion of this program?

Licenses are not awarded through the educational institution. Upon completion of the degree requirements, including professional coursework, the student receives an Associate in Applied Science degree and is eligible for licensure. You must take a comprehensive written National Board Examination, regional clinical examination, and written examination on the State Dental Act administered by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. Upon successful completion of all examinations and payment of fees, you may be granted a license to practice as a registered Dental Hygienist in Oklahoma. Licensure is require for employment as a dental hygienist.

Do I have to have a criminal background check?

Yes. Applicants who have been accepted into the Program are required to complete a criminal and sex offender background check prior to the beginning of the first semester. Future employment and certification may be affected by the results of these background checks. it is advisable to check with the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry and the Dental Assisting National Board prior to program entry to inquire about obtaining state and national certification if you have a positive background check.

Why should I attend the Dental Hygiene Program at Rose State College when there are other dental hygiene programs in my state and the surrounding area?

The Dental Hygiene Program at Rose State College is accredited by the American Dental Association and after completing the two years of professional coursework the graduate is eligible to sit for state, regional and national credentialing examinations. The distinct advantages for attending the Rose State College Dental Hygiene Program are: 1) excellent reputation in the community which may aid in employment; 2) small class size for excellent faculty/student interaction; 3) approximately 98% of clinical experience is obtained in the Allied Dental Education facility on the Rose State College campus; and 4) very low instructor/student ratio in all laboratory, pre-clinical and clinical sessions. All students works as team members throughout the Program and carry this philosophy into private practice.