Jul 16, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene

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Bogenpohl - Department Chair, Corum, Harshaw, Merritt and Rogers


Missouri Southern State University Dental Hygiene program empowers students to become life-long learners and facilitate the development of ethical and competent oral healthcare professionals, who provide patient care to a diverse population utilizing innovative technologies.


First, to provide quality education that reflects best practices in dental hygiene in order to become an ethical licensed oral healthcare professional. Second, to provide comprehensive dental hygiene services to the communities served by Missouri Southern State University. Third, to promote the significance of dental hygiene professional development and commitment to life-long learning.

The dental hygienist is a licensed healthcare professional and member of the dental health team. The diverse duties of the dental hygienist include performing oral prophylaxis and periodontal assessment and therapy; collecting and evaluating medical history information; performing head and neck screening examinations; periodontal assessment and therapy; applying agents for the prevention of decay; applying desensitizing and antimicrobial agents and administering local anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia; and exposing and interpreting radiographs. The dental hygienist acts as a dental health educator and is responsible for teaching patients prevention of dental disease and providing nutritional counseling.

Dental hygiene employment opportunities are numerous and vary greatly. They include general practice and specialty dental offices; federal, state, county and city health clinics; public schools; hospitals; long-term care facilities; dental schools; industrial clinics; the armed services; and research institutions.

Missouri Southern offers an Associate of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Upon satisfactory completion, graduates are eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and practical examinations required for licensure in Missouri and other states. The MSSU Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Admission to Missouri Southern does not automatically grant admission to the Dental Hygiene Program. In addition to meeting admission requirements for the University, candidates must apply for admission to the Department of Dental Hygiene. Applications are reviewed by the Selection Committee for Dental Hygiene. Applicants must submit the necessary information by January 31. Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 to apply.

Application consideration requires evidence of satisfactory completion of the following prerequisites with a grade of ‘C’ or better within two attempts:

ENG 0101 - College Composition I (Writing Intensive) 
BIO 0121 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I    
BIO 0221 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II 
BIO 0231 - General and Medical Microbiology 
CHEM 0121 - Chemistry for Allied Health Sciences   and CHEM 0122 - Chemistry for Allied Health Sciences Laboratory  OR CHEM 0140 - General Chemistry I  and CHEM 0141 - Gen Chemistry I Laboratory  
COMM 0100 - Oral Communication 
MATH 0030 - Intermediate Algebra  (or higher)

In addition to completing the prerequisite courses, applicants will be required to complete the TEAS test (Test for Essential Academic Skills), with a minimum score of 43.

Enrollment is limited by selection and applicants are admitted contingent upon a criminal record check, random drug testing, the completion of physical, vision and dental examinations and the rendering of an acceptable health status. Completion of all prerequisite courses, TEAS exam and other requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Students are admitted to the dental hygiene program only in the fall of each year. As students in a health care profession, dental hygiene students may be exposed to blood borne pathogens and infectious diseases, as a result must meet the CDC immunization recommendations for healthcare workers.

Additional charges are incurred by Dental Hygiene students including (but not limited to) laboratory costs, various expenses for transportation to off campus clinical sites and professional meetings, licensure exams, and equipment.

The Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene requires a minimum of 91 credit hours, including the prerequisite courses. Course grades of ‘C’ or above in Dental Hygiene and supporting science courses are necessary for retention in the Dental Hygiene program.

For additional information contact:
Darlene Bogenpohl, Department Chair
Health Science Building 140


    Major Programs (Undergraduate)


      Dental Hygiene

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