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General Information

Career Information

The dental hygienist is a licensed member of the dental health team, dedicated to helping patients maintain good oral health and preventing dental disease.  Although the tasks performed by a hygienist vary from state to state, the primary functions are:

  • Remove calculus and biofilm plaque (hard and soft deposits) above and below the gumline

  • Assess and chart the teeth and oral structures

  • Expose, process and label dental radiographs

  • Provide oral hygiene instructions

  • Provide dietary analysis and counseling services

  • Apply cavity-prevention agents, such as fluoride and sealants

  • Work with special population groups such as the elderly, and the mentally/physically handicapped

  • Perform the Expanded Functions legally allowable in Florida

Occupational Safety and Health Briefing:
The Dental Programs at Gulf Coast State College have an obligation to maintain standards of health care and professionalism standards that are ethically and legally correct and that are consistent with the public's expectations of the health professions. In accordance with OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030, a Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan has been developed for the Dental Programs at Gulf Coast State College.  These guidelines are established and practiced by all dental health personnel (faculty, staff, and students) while as an employee, volunteer, or student with the Dental Assisting or Dental Hygiene Program.  These specific guidelines and other Dental Program policies are available for review in the Dental Programs Manual.

Educational Requirements in Florida

The two-year college curriculum is designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the licensure and employment needs of the student.  The curriculum includes content in general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences, and dental hygiene science.  APPLICANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO COMPLETE AS MANY OF THE GENERAL EDUCATIONAL COURSES AS POSSIBLE PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE INTO THE DENTAL HYGIENE PROGRAM.  Refer to the general education sequence for the specific requirements.

Basic Practice Requirements

To become licensed to practice dental hygiene, the graduate must first apply for and successfully pass the Dental Hygiene National Board examination, the ADEX Dental Hygiene Licensing Examination (both the clinical and computer-based examinations), and the Florida Laws and Rules Examination. The license to practice Dental Hygiene is issued by the Florida Board of Dentistry and must be renewed every two years .

Selection Criteria and Information

Selection to the program is based upon an objective cumulative point system derived from overall college grade point averages (GPA), grades in Dental Hygiene general education courses, previously earned college degrees or certificates, current enrollment in an accredited Dental Assisting Program, and dental experience. In order to apply, candidates must complete the following by the deadline:

  • Apply for general admission to Gulf Coast State College

  • Provide official high school or GED and all college/university transcripts

  • Demonstrate competency in Math/Algebra, English and Reading by one of the quantitative methods listed in the Dental Hygiene Application Packet.

  • Submit a completed Dental Hygiene Program Application Form

  • Submit a signed Technical Standards Form. 

An admissions committee reviews and scores all completed applications.

APPLICATIONS ARE CONSIDERED FOR EACH CLASS AND ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY HELD OVER FOR THE NEXT SELECTION PROCESS.  IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO RENEW AND UPDATE THEIR APPLICATIONS FOR THE NEXT YEAR

Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to Lee Wood, Executive Director, Human Resources/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.