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Dental Hygiene
applications accepted
from Nov. 1 - Dec. 31

Pre-DENT 101

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Program in Dental Hygiene
General Information

Thinking About a Career in Dental Hygiene?

  • Are you interested in helping people remain healthy?
  • Would you enjoy direct patient care?
  • Would you like the security of a specialized career?
  • Would you like flexible working hours?
  • Would you like the potential to earn a good salary?
  • Would you like the opportunity to practice nationwide and abroad?
  • Are you interested in an academic career in the health sciences?
  • Are you interested in public health?

The responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist include the following:

  • Work with dentists and other healthcare professionals to meet the oral health needs of the patients
  • Perform oral cancer screenings, review medical histories, take blood pressure readings, and chart the teeth
  • Remove deposits from the teeth
  • Educate patients about proper oral hygiene
  • Take x-rays of the teeth
  • Administer local anesthesia
  • Administer nitrous oxide/oxygen
  • Apply fluoride and sealants to the teeth
  • Counsel patients on proper nutrition, tobacco cessation, dental treatment options

The LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) offers a bachelor of science degree.

Specific Goals of the Program in Dental Hygiene

  1. Maintain admissions policies to ensure qualified candidates.
  2. Utilize current educational methodologies and technology to ensure an educationally sound curriculum.
  3. Review the curriculum to ensure it is relevant and current.
  4. Prepare students to be competent as defined by the program document, "Competency Statements for the Program in Dental Hygiene, LSU School of Dentistry."
  5. Educate students to successfully complete all National, regional and clinical Board examinations.
  6. Educate students to work in inter and intra professional settings.
  7. Design experiences for students to provide dental hygiene services to diverse populations within the community.
  8. Support an environment conducive to continued student and faculty development.

The dental hygiene program is an integral part of the dental school treating patients assigned to groups of both dental and dental hygiene students. Hygiene services and dental treatment are discussed and developed together under watch of a dental hygiene and dental faculty. Dental hygiene and dental students also take courses together such as pain control and infection control and periodontology. They collaborate on interprofessional teams with health profession students from the other health science center programs to understand their roles in a shared patient's health. Through this they learn to respect the contributions of all health professionals.

The dental hygiene program is integrated into all aspects of the dental school. It shares access to state-of-the-art educational technology and participates with outcomes assessment. Hygiene students work with dental students in extramural rotations, and with faculty in faculty development activities and committees. These are just a few examples of how the institution continues to gather input from students to keep the curricula current.

What are the Prerequisites for consideration to the LSU Dental Hygiene Program?

See link below for prerequisites by college

College Requirements
You must complete a minimum of 60 hours of college work to be considered for admissions. You must have successfully completed:

Academic Electives - 5 hours Fine Arts - 3 hours Psychology - 3 hours
Biology - 13 hours Gen. Chem. - 6 hours Sociology - 3 hours
English - 9 hours Humanities - 9 hours Speech - 3 hours
Math - 6 hours    

Students may apply for the Dental Hygiene program before completing all classes. However, all required courses must be successfully completed by the end of May for the Dental Hygiene class starting in August. Because of their foundational significance, all science courses must be taken within 5 years of application. All other prerequisites must be completed within10 years of application.

American College Test
The ACT is REQUIRED and administered at various sites throughout the year. An applicant must have a composite score of a 20 or greater on the ACT standardized test to be considered for the Dental Hygiene program. While the science ACT score is taken into consideration there is no specific minimum at this time. You should plan to have completed this test and have the score received by the Office of Admissions from ACT by December 15th of the year of admission.

Skilled Testing
Either the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) or the Admissions Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH) IS REQUIRED and this score must be submitted for admissions as of the Fall of 2021. ATDH information is available here http://www.ada.org/ATDH. Starting Tuesday, July 6, the online application will be activated and the ATDH will have its first administration session September 1st through October 31, 2021. Information for the DAT is available here and has been ongoing. https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/dental-admission-test
These scores must be received by the Office of Admissions from ADA by December 1st of the year of admissions.

Dental Experience
A minimum of 80 hours of job shadowing, work or volunteering with a dental professional is highly recommended for consideration to the program.*

*Due to social distancing associated with the Corona Virus outbreak the "requirement" for job shadowing will be waived however in office experience and dental hygiene knowledge and familiarity will be considered in the interview process.

Admission to the Program in Dental Hygiene, LSUHSC School of Dentistry
Admission to the program in Dental Hygiene is very competitive and only admits Louisiana residents. The program accepts applications starting November 1st of the year prior to admission. Final firm deadline for completion of applications is December 31st of the year before admission. We strongly suggest completing submissions as close to November 1st as possible to ensure timely verification of your application. Interviews are conducted during February and the class is selected by the end of that month.

Want More Information?


Jane Walsh, RDH, JD, Program Director of Dental Hygiene
Telephone:  504-941-8156
Fax:  504-941-8156
E-mail:  jwals2@lsuhsc.edu

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Last Update 6/2016