The department of dental hygiene is committed to developing oral healthcare professionals who are capable of critically thinking, solving problems and making responsible decisions in order to be an effective co-therapist with the dental team.
The primary responsibilities of the educational experience are to stress excellence and ethics in delivery of dental hygiene services to people of all backgrounds, ages and stages of life and to prepare graduates for roles in decision making, leadership and responsibility within the scope of dental hygiene care in an interdependent multicultural world.
The dental hygiene program started in 1972. The dental hygiene student has access to a modern dental hygiene clinic, lecture rooms, and study areas within the college. There are approximately 1,700 contact hours in the curriculum. One third of those hours are spent in the clinical setting assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating procedures for optimum oral care. Students, while in the dental hygiene program at Lakeland, are offered the opportunity to attend various seminars and educational conferences to enhance their knowledge within their discipline. Observations in various dental specialty offices such as periodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery, along with teaching dental health units in the public schools and providing dental care in various community dental programs, are some of the opportunities provided for the dental hygiene student. The Lakeland Library offers reference materials specific to the discipline. Computer facilities and instruction are available with programs applicable to dental hygiene. Also, a separate media library contains many CDs, DVDs and videotapes that augment the program.
With increased emphasis being placed on the preventive aspect of oral health care, the employment opportunities for dental hygienists is expected to remain very favorable through future years.
Factors such as an increase in the number of dental insurance plans, a greater awareness of the importance of oral hygiene, and an expansion of the role and function of the dental hygienist point to an increased employment growth rate.
Registered dental hygienists work in a variety of professional settings. The public is most familiar with dental hygienists in the private dental office where they perform numerous critical services designed to detect and prevent diseases of the mouth. These include scaling and polishing teeth; examining the head, neck, and oral areas for signs of disease; educating patients regarding oral hygiene, taking or developing X-rays and applying fluoride or sealants. In this setting, registered dental hygienists play a vital role in protecting the oral health of the American public.
In the public health field, dental hygienists conduct research studies and epidemiological surveys to evaluate the oral health needs of people in various population groups, such as the elderly, the disabled, and children. The findings are used to develop oral healthcare programs aimed at solving problems specific to each group - ranging from recommending such public health measures as water fluoridation to producing specially tailored educational materials.
Beyond the private dental office, dental hygienists can be found in numerous other settings; nursing homes and long-term care facilities, hospitals, corporate health facilities, school systems, and public health clinics.
Dental hygienists also work as educators - teaching in dental hygiene and dental school programs, providing continuing education seminars, and research - conducting clinical research and/or collecting and analyzing scientific data.
Dental hygenienics is a licensed profession. Following graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program, the applicant is required to demonstrate proficiency by successful completion of board examinations that may include both written and clinical sections. The license to practice dental hygiene is issued by the state board of dentistry in the state where employment is pursued.
For one to practice as a dental hygienist in Ohio, the board examinations that must be successfully completed in order to apply for licensure are as follows: Dental Hygiene National Board Exam
- one full day written exam
Northeast Regional Board Dental Hygiene Exam
- half day clinical exam
- two hour Prometric Learning Center computer exam
Ohio State Dental Board Ethics/Law Exam
Each indicated agency will mail the exam scores to each individual student.
A criminal background check which includes fingerprinting is a component of the application for licensure. Any student who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor related to substance abuse, or crime involving moral turpitude, may be denied licensure by the Ohio State Dental Board. Students requiring further clarification are encouraged to contact the Ohio State Dental Board at (614) 466-2580.
Once the specified exams are completed at competency level and upon filing the designated license application, a license for dental hygiene practice in the State of Ohio will be issued by the Ohio State Dental Board. Annually the dental hygiene program director will inform students of dates and fees for the stated exams.
The dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association
The Lakeland Community College Dental Hygiene program will undergo an accreditation site visit by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) on Feb. 20 and 21, 2020.
View the Commission on Dental Accreditation Posting Form for Third Party Comments.
The United States Department of Education (USDE) procedures require accrediting agencies to provide an opportunity for third-party comment, either in writing or at a public hearing (at the accrediting agencies' discretion) with respect to institutions or programs scheduled for review.
Third party comments are invited from the public and the following communities of interest: faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers at least ninety (90) days prior to the scheduled site visit. Comments must pertain only to the standards for the particular program or policies and procedures used in the accreditation process. A copy of the Accreditation Standards for Dental Hygiene Education Programs and/or the Commission's policy on third party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 800.621.8099, extension 4653 or ada.org/en/coda.
Public Comments must be received Dec. 20, 2019, sixty (60) days prior to the visit and submitted to:
Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Comments will be screened by the commission staff for relevancy. For comments not relevant to these issues, the individual will be notified that the comment is not related to accreditation and, where appropriate referred to the appropriate agency. All relevant comments will have names and/or signatures removed and be referred to the program at least fifty (50) days prior to the site visit for review and response. A written response from the program should be provided to the Commission office and the visiting committee fifteen (15) days prior to the site visit. Negative comments received after the established deadline of sixty (60) days prior to the site visit will be handled as a complaint.