Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygienists change lives one smile at a time!

Choose a career path in which the future is literally in your hands.

In the process of earning your Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Dental Hygiene Degree, you will gain practical skills, knowledge and confidence to make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of your patients.

CBC Dental Hygiene Program

The Columbia Basin College (CBC) Dental Hygiene program is a Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree program that requires full-time classroom and clinical instruction during the final two years (seven quarters).

The educational objective of the program is to prepare students who, upon graduation and successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and Regional Board exams in Local Anesthesia, Restorative, and Clinical Dental Hygiene, will be able to apply for licensure and practice Dental Hygiene. This program has limited enrollment.

The CBC Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Information Sessions are offered regularly throughout the year to give you an opportunity to meet the Director of Dental Hygiene, Counseling and Financial Aid. Information is provided regarding required prerequisites, the application process, and progression through the curriculum. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask specific questions about the program.

If you need individual assistance after viewing or attending an information session, please call the Counseling Center at 509-542-5505 to make an appointment.

The Dental Hygiene program at CBC requires an expenditure of approximately $37,000 for tuition, books, uniforms, supplies and equipment during the two-year program. These figures are estimates and subject to change. Approximately $7,000 will be needed prior to the beginning of the first quarter. Upon graduation, students must take the NBDHE (National Board Dental Hygiene Exam) and a Regional board exam that includes Clinical boards on Local Anesthesia, Restorative (placing fillings on a typodont) and a Clinical board on a patient. These costs are in addition to the quoted cost of the program and are the responsibility of the student. Successful completion of these exams are required for licensure.

The Dental Hygiene program offers low cost dental care to adults, teens and children in our community. Procedures are performed by students in the program and are supervised by local dentists and also registered dental hygienists who are faculty members in the program.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

Application Process

Students must complete an application each year to be considered for entry into this program.

The 2021 Dental Hygiene Application process opens on November 1, 2020, and will close on March 1, 2021.

All courses listed must be completed with a 2.0 GPA or higher for each course. The science courses listed must be completed within the past 7 years and a cumulative GPA of 2.6 must be achieved.

Effective for Fall 2020 admission, if a student must retake a prerequisite course to achieve a higher grade, ONLY TWO courses may be retaken (ONE time) to be applied towards admission to the program.

General Education courses include:
 • ENGL& 101 English Composition
 • MATH& 146 Introduction to Stats
 • SOC& 101 Intro to Sociology
 • PSYC& 100 General Psychology
 • PSYC 201 Social Psychology
 • NUTR& 101 Nutrition

Select 10 credits from the following:
 • CMST& 101 Introduction to Communication 
 • CMST& 220 Public Speaking
 • CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communication
 • CMST 260 Multicultural Communication

The science courses include:
 • BIOL& 241 Human A&P 1 w/ Lab
 • BIOL& 242 Human A&P 2 w/Lab
 • BIOL& 260 Microbiology w/Lab

Select 5 credits from the following:
 • CHEM& 121 Intro to Chemistry w/ Lab OR
 • CHEM& 140 Gen. Chemistry Prep w/ Lab  OR     
 • CHEM& 161 General Chemistry I w/ Lab

Select 5 credits from the following:
 • CHEM& 122 Intro to Organic Chemistry w/ Lab OR
 • CHEM& 131 Intro to Organic Chemistry w/Lab
Courses with different numbers than the ones listed above will not automatically be substituted for these courses. You must check with Admissions. If they contain different content, they will not be accepted as substitutes for these listed courses.

The Dental Hygiene program at Columbia Basin College is participating in the American Dental Education Association Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service (ADEA DHCAS) 2020-2021 application cycle. Applicants applying to the entry level bachelor's program for 2021 enrollment will apply online using the ADEA DHCAS application.

Learn more about ADEA DHCAS.

The 2021 Dental Hygiene Application opens on November 1, 2020, and closes March 1, 2021. DHCAS needs 1-2 weeks before the deadline to process transcripts. Please try to avoid submitting last minute applications. For full admission points, finish courses by the end of Fall quarter. Partial consideration will be given to Winter quarter course enrollment. Prerequisites must be completed by the end of Spring Quarter of the year you are applying for. (For Fall 2021 applicants, all course work must be completed by the end of Spring quarter 2021).

Additional application points are awarded for:

  • Veterans
  • Associate or Bachelor's Degree
  • Successful completion of CHEM 123 with a grade of 2.6 or higher

Either the HESI A2 OR the TEAS exam is required with your application.

The HESI A2 exam OR the TEAS exam that were taken between November 2018 and November 2020 may be submitted. However, the HESI A2 and the TEAS exams may only be taken once in a 12 month period.

The TEAS test may be taken through the CBC Assessment Center by calling 509-542-4860. Comprehensive information for applicants who attend CBC or live outside of this area is available.

  • Print and upload the Completion Plan For CBC Dental Hygiene Program and include with your online application (required).
  • Print and upload the Volunteer Hours for CBC Dental Hygiene Form and include with your online application (optional for extra points).
  • Print and upload Tri-Tech Skills Center Dental Assisting Program completion certificate and include with your online application (optional for extra points)
  • Print and upload Home Health Aid Certificate (RHS students) and include with your online application (optional for extra points)
Students with a second language are invited to take proficiency tests through ALTA Language Services. The tests are administered through the CBC Assessment Center. The categories of testing are Listening and Speaking as well as Reading Comprehension. Two points are given for the successful completion of each test. For more ALTA Language information please contact the Assessment Center at 509-542-4860.
After the applications have been evaluated by Student Records and the Dental Hygiene department, the top 30 applicants will be invited via email to attend the second stage of the admission process in March 2021. Additional points will be added to application totals after the Admissions Day meeting.

Accepted applicants will be notified via email of their acceptance into the CBC Dental Hygiene program in  May 2021. There will be a mandatory orientation in Summer 2021.

Compliance with required immunization records and a national background check, provided by the college-approved vendor, must be completed and submitted before the first day of Dental Hygiene classes. Details of these requirements will be provided at orientation. Information regarding HIV-AIDS course and American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR training will be also discussed at the orientation.

Individuals who are involved in the provision of dental hygiene services may be exposed to blood borne pathogens that may result in human disease. The Dental Hygiene program adheres to the practice of "Standard Precautions" as outlined by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). This is necessary to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to minimize health risks to students, patients, staff, and visitors. Standard Precautions apply to all facility personnel, faculty and students who, under normal daily tasks, may anticipate contact with blood and other potentially infectious material containing organisms such as HIV, HBV and HBC.

CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines are used to determine the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) worn by all faculty and students in the clinical setting. Strict participation of these guidelines is designed to minimize the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

Accepted applicants will participate as a mock patient with student partners throughout their two years of Dental Hygiene school.

National Background Search & Drug Screen Requirement

As part of the admission requirements for Health Science programs, accepted applicants must successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen prior to working with patients in clinical areas. The background check and drug screen are paid by the student and administered through a third party company, CastleBranch. In addition to the background check required by CBC, each clinical facility reserves the right to conduct its own criminal background check prior to allowing a student to enter its health care facilities for clinical participation.

Certain criminal convictions, pending charges or negative actions may automatically disqualify a person from having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children. Clinical facilities reserve the right to accept or decline a student’s placement in its facility.     

Dental Hygiene Program Outcomes

  • 1. Professional Skills

    Students will be able to:

    • Provide quality preventive, therapeutic, and restorative therapy as allowed by the state practice act. (Supports CBC learning outcome 6)
    • Meet the dental hygiene competencies as outlined in the Columbia Basin College Dental Hygiene Handbook with entry-level competency. (Supports CBC learning outcome 6)
    • Utilize knowledge, skills, and evidence-based practice in the provision of customized patient-centered dental hygiene care. (Supports CBC learning outcome 5, 6)
    • Identify the oral health education needs of patients across the lifespan; developing and implementing an oral health care plan utilizing basic principles of teaching/learning.
    • Adhere to ethical behavior and follow the Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists
  • 2. Communications and Interpersonal Skills

    Students will be able to:

    • Communicate effectively while exhibiting cultural awareness with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team. (Supports learning outcome 3, 4)
    • Demonstrate a professional demeanor and respect for the values and beliefs of patients. (Supports CBC learning outcome 5)
      Exhibit accountability, professional responsibility, and reliability when providing oral health care.
  • 3. Research Skills

    Students will be able to:

    • Utilize knowledge of research methods and critically evaluate research to promote and foster optimal health. (Supports CBC learning outcomes 1, 2)

The dental hygienist plays an integral role in assisting individuals and groups in achieving and maintaining optimal oral health. They also provide educational, clinical and consultative services. Other professional roles of the dental hygienist include:

  • Clinician: private dental practice, community clinics, hospitals, prison facilities and schools/colleges
  • Corporate: sales rep, product research, corporate educators and administrators
  • Public Health: rural or inner city community clinics, head start programs, school sealant programs
  • Researcher: colleges and universities, corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations
  • Educator: clinical, classroom and corporate instructors/educators, program director
  • Administrator: clinical director, program directors, research administrator, corporate sales
  • Entrepreneur: product development, employment service, independent clinical practice, professional speaker, consulting business



  • Phone:509-542-4571

  • Address:940 Northgate Dr., Richland, WA 99352Fourth Floor

  • Office Hours:Monday to Thursday: 7 am to 4:30 pmFriday: 7 am to noon

Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus