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Dental Hygiene - Introduction

The transition from Associate degree to Baccalaureate degree is planned for implementation in January 2017. Additionally, General Education courses will be required prior to admission into the Baccalaureate of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) Program.   In addition, multiple courses through the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies (IDST) have been incorporated into varies semesters of the curriculum.  Please note that the Program requires full time study including Summer sessions.

The Dental Hygienist's Scope of Practice:

The Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) is a member of the oral health care team who provides treatment to prevent oral diseases, under the supervision of a dentist. Clinical skills include performing oral health assessments, examining head, neck and oral regions for disease, exposing, processing and mounting x-rays and other diagnostic tests, removing deposits from teeth, applying sealants and fluoride to prevent decay, providing nutritional counseling and patient education and other patient services as delegated by the dentist. Dental hygienists are also involved in community dental education and public health.


The Dental Hygiene Program prepares individuals interested in providing preventive, educational and therapeutic services to the public. In order to expose students to the most modern equipment and advanced treatment techniques, the facilities of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and School of Health Related Professions-Scotch Plains Dental Suite are utilized. Prospective dental hygiene students must possess manual dexterity, good vision, optimal oral and personal hygiene habits and good communication skills.

The Dental Hygiene Program at SHRP is very challenging. Since each state has its own specific regulations, the range of services vary from state to state. Upon graduation at Rutgers SHRP, the student will be able to perform the following services:

  • Prophylaxis (dental cleaning)
  • Administer fluoride
  • Provide patient education and nutritional counseling
  • Expose, process and mount radiographs
  • Examine head, neck and oral areas for disease
  • Fabricate mouth guards
  • Polish amalgam restorations
  • Perform basic laboratory procedures
  • Work as a member of the dental health care team


Many of the hygienists who graduated from the program work in private dental offices, group practices and educational institutions. The RDH receives a State license to provide preventive oral health care services and patient education.

The Dental Hygiene Program was established in 1978 and is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

All General Education Credits may not be acceptable for transfer. The affiliates maintain policies which outline residency requirements regarding transfer credits. Students taking pre-requisite courses will be required to register for the following number of credits at the designated affiliate institutions:


Brookdale Community College
30 cr.
Essex County College
15 cr.
Ocean County College
32 cr.
Raritan Valley Community College
22 cr.
Thomas Edison State College
12 cr.
Union County College
17 cr.




Brookdale Community College

Ms. Beth Stryker -

(732) 224-2330

Essex County College
Ms. Robbyn Graham -

(973) 877-1865

Ocean County College

Ms. Mary Fennessy -

(732) 755-0400 ext. 2423

Raritan Valley Community College

Ms. Kathleen E. Michell -

(908)526 1200
ext. 8629

Thomas Edison State College

SHRP Enrollment Svcs:


(888) 442-8372

(973) 972-5454

Union County College

(908) 709-7596


Please click link:  Questions and Answers for Dental Hygiene (pdf)

Carolyn Breen, Ed.D., RDH, RDA, CDA




Rutgers School of Health Related Professions



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