Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Dental Hygiene Technology, A.A.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Dr. Paige Pennington, Director of Dental Programs

The Dental Hygiene Technology (DHT) Program provides students with a general education and clinical dental hygiene experience to prepare them for a career in the dental hygiene profession. A dental hygienist is a licensed, preventive health professional who provides educational, clinical, and therapeutic services while promoting total health through the maintenance of optimal oral health. All phases of dental health education are covered and practiced through clinical experience. Students gain clinical experience by treating patients in all categories ranging from children to the aged as well as patients with oral and general systemic conditions. Students also participate in community dental health activities.

MCC’s Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation as well as by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Association can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL. Graduates of the program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene and are eligible to write the National Board of Dental Examiners, as well as individual state board examinations for dental hygiene.

Mississippi Law requires health care professionals or Career Technical Education students enrolled in programs whose primary purpose is to prepare professionals to render patient care services to submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting prior to beginning any clinical rotation in a licensed health care entity. If such fingerprinting or criminal background checks of the student disclose a felony conviction, guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere to a felony of possession or sale of drugs, murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, rape, sexual battery, sex offense listed in Section 45-33-23 (g), child abuse, arson, grand larceny, burglary, gratification of lust, aggravated assault or felonious abuse and/or battery of a vulnerable adult which has not been reversed on appeal or for which a pardon has not been granted, the student shall not be eligible to be admitted to such health program of study, nor will he/she be eligible to participate in clinical training in a licensed entity.

If a student currently enrolled in the Dental Hygiene Technology Program is prohibited from participating in clinical experiences by any clinical affiliate of Meridian Community College (e.g., positive drug screen, gregarious behavior, violation of patient safety, non-compliance with the College’s “Student Behavior Code”, etc.), then the student will be dismissed from the program of study. The student is not eligible for program readmission unless the clinical restriction is removed.

In addition to the disqualifying events listed in Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 annotated, clinical affiliates may, at their discretion, refuse to provide clinical experiences to any student whom the clinical affiliates feel are not suitable for employment or for the clinical experience setting.

Any drug conviction, bodily harm, neglect or abuse, or felony DUI conviction within a year of the starting date of class is cause for denial of the clinical experience setting. Any convictions more than a year beyond the starting date of class will be examined by the “Review Standards Committee” with a decision rendered whether the student is allowed to participate in the clinical experience setting. Any charges pending a resolution will require documentation of disposition from the student.

Progression: To meet graduation requirements for this program, students must successfully complete the specified courses listed below with a “C” average (GPA of 2.00) or better. A grade of “C” or higher is required in each DHT course to progress in the program. All coursework must be passed.

In addition to general admission requirements, all of the following must be complete to meet the minimum requirements for the dental hygiene program:

  • A complete application for admission to Meridian Community College; and
  • Attain an 18 composite score on the ACT; and
  • Submit all transcripts (high school and college) and official ACT scores, to the Admission Office by April 30th; and
  • Submit a handwritten autobiographical information sheet and proof of four (4) hours observation in a dental clinic (faxed to the Dental Hygiene Department at 601-581-3525) by the April 30th deadline; and
  • Complete all prerequisites with a “C” average or above; and
  • Complete Anatomy and Physiology I and II within five (5) years prior to admission; and
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (“C” average) or higher on all previous college coursework. Final college transcripts must be received by May 21st.

All applicants must attend a DHT Information Session. Applicants will receive notice about the Information Session once all of their documents have been received.

The DHT Admissions Committee will select each year’s class from the pool of applicants who meet minimum requirements. Any application with incomplete records will not be considered for admission. The admission process is competitive, and completion of minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission. Priority consideration for admission will be given as follows: 1) In-district students who complete program prerequisites and/or general education coursework at MCC; 2) Out-of-district students who complete program prerequisites and/or general education coursework at MCC; 3) Mississippi residents who complete program prerequisites and/or general education coursework elsewhere; 4) Out-of-state students. Check with the Health Education advisor for selection details and deadlines.

Prior to classes beginning, students are required to receive the Hepatitis-B vaccination (or present physician’s statement stating that this vaccination is not advisable). Students are also required to obtain a CPR Healthcare Provider (two year) certification from the American Heart Association. Proof of immunization for MMR and varicella are required by August 1. A Mantoux Two-Step TB Skin Test and drug screening will be scheduled after enrollment. All these conditions must be met prior to the start of clinical training.

All students admitted into the program will be required to pay for fingerprinting and background checks which will be performed after admission and prior to clinical laboratories. These fees will be attached as registration fees. For additional information, please contact the Health Education advisor.

Students in the Dental Hygiene Technology Program must attend MCC full-time (15 or more semester credit hours).

The admission process is competitive. Performance in the following Dental Hygiene academic core courses is used in computing an applicant’s admission ranking:

Work Force Solutions   

Course of Study:

Total Credit Hours 16

Recommended Courses

The following courses are not prerequisites, but completion increases program admission competitiveness:

First Year

Second Year

Total Program Semester Hours 89

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study