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.

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.

Information sessions are scheduled for one hour and are free and open to anyone interested in a CBC Health Sciences program.


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

Support the Patient Care Fund

Your support enables CBC Dental Hygiene students to provide non-surgical periodontal therapy (NSPT) to those in need in our community. In order for the students to provide comprehensive inital periodontal therapy for one patient, it costs our clinic $312. The Patient Care Fund provides funds to cover the cost of four quadrants (full mouth) of NSPT, re-evaluation, and one periodontal maintenance cleaning.  This service provides vital training to our students while making a real and tangible difference in the lives of our patients.

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Application Process

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

The next opportunity to apply for the Dental Hygiene program will be November 1, 2022. Applications will be due to ADEA/DHCAS on February 28, 2023, by 11:59 PM EST. Official transcripts should be received by DHCAS on or before February 14, 2023.

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 seven years. A cumulative GPA of 2.6 must be achieved for all required courses.

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& 200 Lifespan Psychology OR
 • 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.

Advanced Placement scores from CollegeBoard may be submitted to CBC for evaluation of credit/courses. Select AP exam scores are considered for admissions and entrance points.

Prerequisite: CHEM& 121 or CHEM& 161
AP Exam Score - 3, 4, or 5

English: Language and Composition OR
               Literature and Composition
Prerequisite: ENGL& 101
AP Exam Score - 4 or 5

Prerequisite: MATH& 146
AP Exam Score - 3, 4, or 5

The Dental Hygiene program at Columbia Basin College participates in ADEA DHCAS  (ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service) for the programs application cycle. Applicants will apply via ADEA DHCAS to provide the program with accurate, streamlined and uniform data. The application cycle will open November 1, 2022, and remain open until February 28, 2023, at 11:59 PM EST. The Dental Hygiene program strongly recommends beginning the application process early in the application cycle to avoid an incomplete application and potentially missing out on consideration to the program.


DHCAS Application Instructions:

Instructions on How to Submit Transcripts in DHCAS:
Submit Transcripts

ADEA DHCAS Student Support
Please contact 617-612-2095 or email

DHCAS will need one to two weeks before the deadline to process transcripts. Transcripts need to be received by DHCAS no later than February 14, 2023. Late transcripts will not be accepted. Full admission points are given for  courses completed through Fall quarter 2022. Enrollment admission points will be given to Winter quarter 2023 course enrollment. Prerequisites must be completed by the end of Spring Quarter of the year you are applying for. (ex: fall 2023 applicants, all course work must be completed by the end of spring quarter 2023).

Below are options to receive additional application points:

  • Veterans (include copy of DD-214 or NOBE)
  • Associate or Bachelor's Degree
  • Successful completion of CHEM 123 with a grade of 2.6 or higher
  • Volunteer hours
  • Tri-Tech Dental Assisting Certificate of Completion
  • Home Health Aid Certificate (RHS students)

The TEAS exam is required with your application. A minimum TEAS score of 60% must be achieved to be considered for admission to the Dental Hygiene program.

The TEAS exam  may be taken within the 2022-23 testing window. For the Fall 2023 application, the testing window at CBC is November 2022 to February 2023. The TEAS exam taken November 2020 - March 2021 and November 2021 - March 2022 may be submitted.

The submitted TEAS exam must be taken through the CBC Assessment Center. Please call the Assessment Center at 509-542-4860 for scheduling information. 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.

Accepted applicants will be notified via email of their acceptance into the CBC Dental Hygiene program at the end of April 2023. There will be a mandatory orientation in summer 2023.

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. In addition, there will be information regarding a mandatory Suicide Prevention Training for Healthcare Professionals course and the American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR training.

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.

Each state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. protectorates vary in what professions they require to be licensed and the educational requirements for those licenses. It’s important to understand whether the degree or certificate you obtain from CBC will meet the educational eligibility requirements for a license in the state in which you plan to practice.

View educational licensure requirements by state.

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


Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus