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

Pre-DENT 101

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   Prerequisites by College
   App Tips and Check List

The ATDH Guide and webinar information: www.ada.org/atdh

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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?

College Requirements (See prerequisites by college here)
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. All prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of application. Because of their foundational significance, all science courses must be taken within 5 years of application and through an in-person and not on-line format. (Due to COVID 19, IN PERSON FORMAT is waived from Spring 2020-Fall 2021).

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
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 https://www.ada.org/ATDH. These scores must be sent to both LSUSD and ADEA DHCAS as part of the application process.

Dental Experience
A minimum of 80 hours of job shadowing, work or volunteering with a dental professional is required for admission.*

*This REQUIRMENT is in full effect again for applicants as of the fall of 2022 and moving forward unless otherwise notified

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