Dental Hygiene, A.A.S.

Academic Programs

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Program Options

Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus

Program Information

If becoming a dental hygienist appeals to you, Iowa Western’s Dental Hygiene program can help you do just that. Successful candidates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree that prepares them to complete both the National Board Examination and a state or regional exam. Working with Creighton University, Iowa Western offers clinical experiences off-campus.

Graduates of Iowa Western’s Dental Hygiene program are some of the most prepared in the area, boasting a 99 percent board pass-rate on national exams, a 95 percent board pass-rate on regional and state exams, and 100 percent pass-rate on the jurisprudence exam.

After completing your Iowa Western requirements, you’ll have the option of transferring to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree.

To become a licensed professional, graduates must successfully complete both the National Board Examination, a state or regional exam, and a jurisprudence exam. CPR certification is required.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation and has been granted the status of Accreditation without reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago 60611, or visit the website at

Job Outlook

533 Jobs (2020)

+9.9% Change from 2020-2025

Data is from the Omaha Metropolitans Area, and the seven counties in Southwest Iowa that Iowa Western serves

What will you do

The Dental Hygiene program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of this two-year degree. Dental Hygienists are preventive health professionals who provide educational and clinical services to support oral health. These services include: evaluation, charting oral disease and conditions, removing deposits from teeth, exposing and processing dental radiographs, and applying fluoride and sealants to teeth. Dental Hygienists can seek positions in general or specialty dental practices, hospitals, research or academic institutions, public health, business and industry, or armed services. Upon graduation of the program, students will be able to take the National Board of Examination and a regional examination. The employment opportunities for Dental Hygienists are expected to increase by 30.1% through the year 2016.


  • Entry: $29.98
  • Average: $35.98
  • Experienced: $49.29

Career Examples

  • Dentists, General
  • Dentists, All Other Specialists
  • Orthodontists
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Prosthodontists

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First Semester

BIO 186 - Microbiology

DHY 118 - Oral Histology and Embryology

DHY 174 - Principles of Dental Hygiene

DHY 114 - Dental Hygiene Anatomical Sciences

DHY 155 - Radiology

DHY 157 - Radiology Lab

Second Semester

DHY 183 - Dental Hygiene I Theory

DHY 184 - Clinical Dental Hygiene I

DHY 153 - Dental Emergencies

DHY 211 - Periodontology

DHY 228 - Clinical Preventive Dentistry

DHY 141 - General and Oral Pathology

Third Semester

DHY 275 - Dental Hygiene II Theory

DHY 286 - Clinical Dental Hygiene II

DHY 288 - Local Anesthesia and Pain Control

DHY 132 - Dental Pharmacology

Fourth Semester

DHY 293 - Dental Hygiene III Theory

DHY 295 - Clinical Dental Hygiene III

DHY 252 - Community Dentistry

DHY 213 - Periodontology II

DHY 226 - Biomaterials for the Dental Hygienist

Fifth Semester

DHY 303 - Dental Hygiene IV Theory

DHY 304 - Clinical Dental Hygiene IV

DHY 255 - Community Oral Health

DHY 241 - Dental Ethics

PSY 111 - Introduction to Psychology

MGT 195 - Workplace Empowerment

DHY 230 - Oral Health Nutrition

Total Semester Hours Required: 72.5


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Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Utilize evidence based decision making principles.
  • Utilize the dental hygiene process of care to meet the needs of diverse populations.
  • Operate within an ethical framework within the dental hygiene scope of practice.
  • Positively motivate and effectively communicate with all populations to promote high standards of oral health.

Program Disclaimers

  • Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database