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Dental Hygiene

Our Dental programs provide students with learning opportunities that enable them to obtain licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist or Registered Dental Assistant, and empowers them to succeed in a changing healthcare environment.

This program is designed to provide the credits necessary for eligibility for Registered Dental Hygiene licensure, Registered Dental Assisting licensure, and transferability for a bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene or likewise.

GRCC's Dental Programs prepare individuals to take the program’s corresponding licensing exams in the state of Michigan, upon program completion. Graduates who wish to practice either Dental Hygiene or Dental Assisting in other states should review the licensure requirements for each state through their individual state board of dentistry and licensing bureau.

Dental Hygiene Program

The dental hygienist-the preventive specialist-fills a key position on the dental health team. Graduates of the associate degree curriculum may assume a variety of major roles in the prevention of dental disease.

Dental hygiene practice includes:obtaining clients' medical and dental histories, conducting extraoral and intraoral examinations, performing diagnostic procedures, providing complete oral prophylaxis (scaling and polishing teeth) and polishing restorations and placing pit and fissure sealants. The Michigan Dental Law has expanded dental hygiene care to include periodontal treatment.

Graduates will be eligible to take national and regional board examinations to qualify for licensure as Registered Dental Hygienists. Requirements for licensure as an RDH in the State of Michigan are stated in the Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978. The new applicant for licensure will be asked about felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions resulting in imprisonment, and convictions for possession of controlled substances (including those involving alcohol related to motor vehicle violations). Previous convictions may prevent the applicant from receiving a license.

Dental hygienists work in private and group dental practices, departments of public health, hospitals, schools, clinics, veterans facilities and the armed forces. Job opportunities for trained dental hygienists are expected to be good in the years ahead.

The average time it takes to start the dental hygiene program AFTER making it on the ready/wait list is approximately two years.

Effective as of fall semester 2015

  • Any student not currently on the Dental Hygiene wait list will be required to complete BI 121, BI 122, BI 127, and CHM 210 with a C or better within two attempts. A withdraw equals one attempt. 02/13/15
  • A three-credit humanities course is required for ALL graduates. Any three-credit humanities course will fill the requirement.
  • Students should initially enroll in Code 324 - Associate in Applied Arts and Science: Academic Department: Dental.


The programs in dental assisting and dental hygiene are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements"]. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted by phone (312) 440-4653, by mail 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or online.

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  1. Program Requirements
  2. How to Apply

GRCC Curriculum

Dental Hygiene Curriculum

Check out our college catalog for pre-program requirements and additional information. 

Estimated Program Costs

Dental Hygiene Estimated Cost Sheet

Additional Program Information

Posting Form for Policy on Third Party Comments (Commission on Dental Accreditation)

Administrative Rules

Public Health Code

How does a student find out what courses transfer to four year colleges?

The following links will take you to online equivalency guides provided by the transfer institution. This will allow you to check how your GRCC courses will transfer. The college catalogs will allow you learn more about your transfer school. If your transfer institution does not provide an online transfer equivalency guide, you should contact the Counseling and Career Development for additional information and assistance in transferring.

Four year schools and the transfer equivalency guide

Dental externships

Required dental externships and community rotation sites are within a 200-mile radius of GRCC’s main campus. Students may be placed at any clinical site, regardless of distance. Students are responsible for their own transportation and any cost associated with it. While most rotations occur on weekdays, weekend and night assignments are possible.


The allied dental programs require students to have and be up to date with several vaccinations for admission into either program, including but not limited to:

  • Hepatitis B series.
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (TDap).
  • Varicella Zoster.
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR).
  • Tuberculosis (TB) skin test.
  • Annual influenza shot.
  • Covid-19 Vaccine*

*Covid-19 Vaccine Requirements

Students enrolled or intending to enroll in any of GRCC's Health Programs that include off campus clinical components (credit or non-credit) will require a COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine will be in addition to any other vaccination and program requirements dictated by accreditation standards and clinical placement requirements. This decision will best ensure the health and success of our students. Students currently in GRCC health programs will be required to complete their COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1, 2021. As a reminder, regardless of any exemption granted by GRCC, this does not guarantee an exemption from the vaccine requirement at individually assigned clinical sites, and thus may impact a student's ability to progress. 


Contact Amelita, for specific vaccination requirements.