Dental Hygiene - Introduction
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.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
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
|Essex County College
|Ocean County College
|Raritan Valley Community College
|Thomas Edison State College
|Union County College
Please click link: Questions and Answers for Dental Hygiene (pdf)
Carolyn Breen, Ed.D., RDH, RDA, CDA