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Oregon Tech Offers:
- With built-in opportunities to constantly stretch yourself, learn and grow, the Dental Hygiene Degree Program at Oregon Tech has a strong history of service learning and innovative educational methods that prepare students as dental hygienists, or as a stepping stone for advanced dental practice.
- Extensive hands-on dental clinic experience right on-campus – and opportunities for off-campus rotations -- provide students with high quality learning and practice of dental hygiene skills. Students work right alongside licensed practitioners and dentists in state-of-the-art facilities, treating their own patients using the latest technology, such as digital radiography, laser cavity detection, and oral cancer exams using light fluorescence
- Active involvement in planning and managing community oral health programs — such as designing and implementing oral health promotion programs for under-served communities – prepare Oregon Tech students with four terms of valuable, real-world experiences, three times what most programs offer.
- International externships provide exciting options for seniors to provide life-saving care for 2 weeks in countries such as Peru, Ukraine and Viet Nam.
- Oregon Tech students earn enough clinical hours to be a licensed dental hygienist with an Expanded Practice Permit when they graduate. Graduates are prepared for entry into the dental profession, eligible for state, regional and national exams leading to licensure as a registered dental hygienist, and/or an expanded practice dental hygienist in Oregon.
- Multiple campus sites to give you options - Oregon Tech offers its Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene at its Klamath Falls Residential Campus (southern Oregon), and in collaboration with Chemeketa Community College in Salem (45 miles south of Portland). Both programs prepare the students for entry into the dental hygiene profession, and have the same requirements and application process. For those who have completed a dental hygiene degree at the associate degree level, Oregon Tech's Online Campus offers a completion degree option for those who want to return to school to earn a bachelor's degree.
Well Paid, Highly Satisfying Work
Dental hygienists are well paid for their work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018:
- Average salaries for dental hygienists in Oregon was $85,280.
- Average salaries for dental hygienists in the Medford area was $87,230 and $86,800 in the Bend-Redmond area.
- In Washington, dental hygienists earn an average of $90,690, $100,830 in California, and $74,430 in Idaho.
The top 25 percent of earners in Oregon in 2018 made annual salaries at or above $96,130, and the top 10 percent made annual salaries at or above $102,130.
Our Graduates Work For:
An Oregon Tech degree in dental hygiene brings highly successful, rewarding careers that begin in the classroom. You'll get the experience and education to participate as a student hygienist at the on-campus Oregon Tech Dental Hygiene Clinic on real patients.
The Dental Hygiene curriculum is rigorous and requires many hours of laboratory and clinical work in addition to external study time in order to nurture both the knowledge and skills acquired to become a dental hygienist. Examples include:
Oral Radiology I
A two course series that include didactic and pre-clinical instruction in the principles and techniques of dental radiology.
Professional ethics and legal requirements of the dental profession.
Head and Neck Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology
Lecture and lab course that provides an in-depth study of head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology for the dental professional.
Dental Hygiene Clinical Practice and Seminar
Sequential courses designed to provide clinical skills essential for practice of dental hygiene, skill development of patient assessment, basic instrumentation, and individualized preventive care are emphasized.