Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

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You want a career in the dental field…

one not only with great job prospects, but also one that is rewarding and gives you the opportunity to serve your patients and community.


Program Description

The TWU dental hygiene program is designed for graduates to receive an entry level bachelor of science in dental hygiene. Dental hygiene is a rigorous yet rewarding program. Challenging didactic courses prepare students to put theory into practice in the clinical setting.


Students first complete two years of pre-professional general education, followed by two years of the dental hygiene curriculum. Dental hygiene is a full-time only program which begins officially in a student’s junior year, with the application process open from November-March of the sophomore year. Students entering the program must carry a 2.5 GPA in their prerequisite coursework, and priority is given to students who complete their general educational core at Tennessee Wesleyan.


Career Opportunities

Graduates with a bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene have multiple opportunities to advance their career or pursue further academic training.


Practice Dental Hygiene

The TWU program will you prepare you to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, the state or regional board, and apply for licensure in the state you plan to practice.


Move on to Master’s in Dental Hygiene

Want to continue on to graduate school? Great! A bachelor’s a Dental Hygiene can help you qualify for master’s programs which will provide opportunities for leadership, teaching and more.


Go to Dental School

Decide you want to move on to be a dentist? Terrific! The TWU Dental Hygiene program will prepare you to apply to dental school. Think of it as a pre-professional degree with job options right away!

Submit Online Application to ADEA DHCAS. DHCAS Portal opens October 29, 2021. Click here for help with the application process.

Submit the following documents within DHCAS:
•Official college transcripts (including Dual Enrollment)
•Official high school transcript (if you went to high school in the state of Tennessee)
•2 letters of reference (one professional, one academic)
•Documentation of 16 observation hours of a dental hygienist completed within the past 6 months

Applicant Selection
The top 30 applicants will be selected to interview. Admission will be granted to the top 20 applicants following a successful interview.

•Completion of all prerequisite courses
•Minimum GPA of 2.5 (3.0 is considered competitive)
•Successful interview with the dental hygiene department 

The mission of the TWU Department of Dental Hygiene is to create an environment where clinically exceptional dental hygienists who are knowledgeable, confident, conscientious, compassionate, ethical, professional in appearance and behavior, and active within the professional community are born.  We strive to foster a sense of pride, integrity, curiosity, and benevolence in all students by providing experiences that are consistent with these goals. Through the unified efforts of the entire dental hygiene department, we guide our students to become future leaders within the dental community.

The dental hygiene program mission will be accomplished through the dedication and collaboration of the quality faculty, administration and staff in an encouraging and nurturing environment that emphasizes the core competencies:

1. The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in applying ethical, legal and regulatory concepts in the provision and/or support of oral health care services.
2. The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in critical thinking and problem solving related to comprehensive care and management of patients. 
3. The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse population groups.
4. The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating community based oral health programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.
5. The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in providing oral health care to individuals at all stages of life and for all periodontal classifications.
6. The dental hygiene graduate will demonstrate competent knowledge and self-assessment skills necessary for life-long learning.

Located alongside the dental hygiene academic workspace is our dental clinic. The newly renovated space on the TWU Athens campus provides the opportunity for students to learn through hands-on experience by serving members of the Tennessee Wesleyan and Athens communities.

Clinic Fast Facts:
•The dental hygiene facility is a newly updated and includes the clinic, lab and classroom
•The clinic contains 10 operatories and is equipped with chairside computers, intraoral cameras and digital radiography
•DH students treat patients of all ages from the community in the clinic
•TWU’s Mobile Dental Unit (MDU) allows students the opportunity to offer patient care at numerous locations including health fairs, schools and senior centers
•DH Community Health courses engage students with the community through projects and events that bring dental education and awareness to diverse populations

306 N White St
Athens, TN 37303
(NW corner of College St and White St)
Call for appointment: (423) 252-1475

Clinic Days/Hours:
Fall semester: Monday, Wednesday, Friday- 8:00-5:00
Spring semester: Monday through Friday- 8:00-5:00
Summer session: Tuesday and Thursday- 8:00-5:00

•Students provide services to all ages from children to adults.
•Patients are scheduled at either 8:00 or 1:00 for appointments. Because this is an educational facility, apointments may be up to 3 hours in length and patients may require more than one appointment to complete treatment.
•Please provide at least 24 hours notice for a cancellation.
•Students are penalized for loss of production due to broken appointments, so please be courteous and give proper notice in order for the student to secure another patient.
•A dentist is on site to provide examinations and referrals, if necessary.

The TWU Dental Hygiene Program holds full accreditation status from the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.