Iowa Western Community College
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Dental Hygiene

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall Only
Program Length: 4 Semesters, 1 Summer
Award: A.A.S.
Commission on Dental Accreditation

Completed Online: Full-Time Only
Completed in the Evenings: Day
Pathway: Career Path
Career Cluster: Health and Sciences
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

If becoming a dental hygienist appeals to you, Iowa Western’s Dental Hygiene program can help you do just that. Successful candidates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree that prepares them to complete both the National Board Examination and a state or regional exam. Working with Creighton University, Iowa Western offers clinical experiences off-campus.

Graduates of Iowa Western’s Dental Hygiene program are some of the most prepared in the area, boasting a 99 percent board pass-rate on national exams, a 95 percent board pass-rate on regional and state exams, and 100 percent pass-rate on the jurisprudence exam.

After completing your Iowa Western requirements, you’ll have the option of transferring to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree.

To become a licensed professional, graduates must successfully complete both the National Board Examination, a state or regional exam, and a jurisprudence exam. CPR certification is required.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation and has been granted the status of Accreditation without reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago 60611, or visit the webiste at

Career Information

The Dental Hygiene program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of this two-year degree. Dental Hygienists are preventive health professionals who provide educational and clinical services to support oral health. These services include: evaluation, charting oral disease and conditions, removing deposits from teeth, exposing and processing dental radiographs, and applying fluoride and sealants to teeth. Dental Hygienists can seek positions in general or specialty dental practices, hospitals, research or academic institutions, public health, business and industry, or armed services. Upon graduation of the program, students will be able to take the National Board of Examination and a regional examination. The employment opportunities for Dental Hygienists are expected to increase by 30.1% through the year 2016.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Utilize evidence based decision making principles.
  • Utilize the dental hygiene process of care to meet the needs of diverse populations.
  • Operate within an ethical framework within the dental hygiene scope of practice.
  • Positively motivate and effectively communicate with all populations to promote high standards of oral health.

Average: $34.17
Entry Level: $30.25
Experienced: $37.93

* Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database.