Dental Hygiene

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Dental Hygiene Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I find out more about the program?
A: All information seminars will be held on the Mount Laurel Campus, in the Health Sciences Center, room 317. Upcoming sessions:

Date:  Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Date:  TBD, Tuesday, spring 2020

Please check the RCBC event calendar for additional upcoming information session information.


Q: I've had my dental x-ray license for many years. Do I still have to take DHY 120 Dental Radiology?
A: Yes. Most dental x-ray courses are offered through the non-credit division of a college and in order to graduate you must have the 3 credits on your transcript. Additionally, hygienists are responsible for more interpretation than assistants. All radiographic series exposed are graded throughout the two years in school so it is best to get everyone on the same page in the name of fairness. Typically people do not remember what they do not use on a regular basis and while many will remember the important information about exposing radiographs, I think most incoming students would be hard pressed to identify the exact path of the electron before and after striking the tungsten target, and the chemical reactions responsible for producing the latent image. These facts will be part of the  licensing board examinations and an in-depth review is usually necessary.


Q: I have a degree from another college. Will any of my credits transfer?
A: Yes, as long as they are from a regionally accredited institution, are for a comparable required course with the same number of credit hours and a similar course description and you received a grade of "C" or better. Anatomy and Physiology I and II along with Microbiology must have been completed within 10 years of beginning the program.


Q: I'm an adult learner. Will I be out of place? Will I be the oldest student in class?
A: There are many adult learners in RCBC courses and DHY is no exception. The mix of students varies from year to year but we have had students ranging in age from 20 to 50. People who are serious about their education and dedicated to succeeding in the program are never out of place.


Q: I have no dental experience. Is it necessary to have worked in a dental office to be accepted? Will I be able to understand what is going on if I have never been employed in the dental field?
A: Dental experience is not a prerequisite to entry into the DHY Program. It is helpful, but not necessary. We do not award extra points in the admission process for previous dental assisting experience. At orientation you will be given a primer of dental terms to help get you up to speed before classes start.


Q: If I have several years of experience and all of the non-dental hygiene courses completed prior to starting the program, how long will it take to graduate?
A: The program will still take 2 years. The dental hygiene courses must be taken in sequence. You cannot take Clinical Services I prior to or in conjunction with Preclinical Dental Hygiene. Nor can you take any of the other DHY courses out of sequence.


Q: How much does the program cost?
A: To view current tuition and fees for RCBC, please click here.

Although we work hard to maintain low tuition costs, tuition has risen slowly to meet the economic constraints of cuts in Federal and State funding. If you look at our curriculum, and take all of the non-dental hygiene courses prior to coming into the program, then you will not be taking a full 12 credit load by the time you enter, so you'll have to figure out the costs based on when you take which courses. At the current time the lab fees total about $1100 for the whole program, and there again, increases are inevitable.

You should also plan on spending another $2-3,000 for instruments, books, uniforms and supplies over the course of the program. Of course, you will be asked to join the student component of the American Dental Hygienists' Association, and there will be various events, conferences and meetings that you may also have to help fund. Students fund raise to help defray the cost, but we can't guarantee that you won't be required to pay a portion of the expenses.

If you are interested in scholarships, the Foundation Website is very helpful, and there are ADHA scholarships and the Delta Dental Foundation Scholarship too.


Q: Do you keep a waiting list, and if so, how long is it? If not, do I have to reapply each year?
A: We do NOT maintain a waiting list from year to year. If you are waitlisted, your instructions will say that if you are not called before the start of fall classes, you must reapply for the following year. Being waitlisted just means that if someone does not accept placement into the RCBC Dental Hygiene Program, or drops out before the start of classes, you may be called to fill their spot.


Q: When do you accept applications?
A: We begin accepting applications as of October 1 of the year prior to the one to which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for the 2019 class, you can send in your application starting October 1, 2019.


Q: What is the deadline for applications?
A: The admissions committee will review qualified applicants sometime in the middle to end of February. All transcripts need to have been received and reviewed by January 31. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check on the status of their transcripts and ensure that all courses they should receive credit for have been accepted. The Dental Hygiene Program does not have access to these records. If you cannot access your electronic transcript through WebAdvisor, you can call the registrar at (856) 222-9311, ext. 1560.


  • Applications MUST be received by January 31 of the year for which you are applying
  • All OFFICIAL transcripts MUST be EVALUATED by January 31 of the year for which you are applying


Q: Do I need to be CPR certified in order to be accepted into the program?
A: AFTER you are accepted into the program, you will need to provide proof of an instructor led CPR course with Basic Life Support (BLS) from the American Red Cross or Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR & AED Training for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association.

You need to be CPR certified in order to participate in clinical activities, and this certification must remain valid throughout the entire program.  CPR and physicals are NOT part of the application process.


Q: I understand that I will need to have a physical exam. Should I do that before I apply?
A: AFTER you are accepted into the program, you will be given information and forms about your physical examination. You need to be CPR certified in order to participate in clinical activities but if you do it too early it will only need to be redone once you are accepted. CPR and physicals are NOT part of the application process.


Q: When do I start working on patients?
A: During your first semester, as part of DHY 101 Preclinical Dental Hygiene you will be working on mannequins and on your fellow students. Students are required to sit as patient partners as part of the educational experience. In the second semester during DHY 151 Clinical Services I you will be seeing patients other than your student partner.  In DHY 120 you will need two patients to meet radiology requirements.


Q: Does the school supply the patients?
A: Some of the patients you will be seeing are supplied through our facility's data base but it is the student's responsibility to supply an adequate number of patients to meet course requirements. During your tenure as a dental hygiene student you will be required to see a number of patients with a variety of oral conditions. Each clinical course has a specified number of requirements outlined clearly in the syllabus.


Q: Will I need a computer for the Dental Hygiene Program?
A: All Dental Hygiene courses are web-enhanced or hybrid. Our courses are delivered via Blackboard Learning Systems and WebCT formats. Participation is part of the grade for every course and logging on to the website is mandatory. Supported browsers include: Microsoft Edge, Chome, AOL, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.


Q: When will I hear if I'm accepted?
A: After the admissions committee meets and makes their selections, letters of conditional acceptance go out to all applicants. This usually occurs by the middle of March.