Dental Hygiene FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions about the Dental Hygiene program. Information also is available in these documents.

Why do you accept only 24 or 25 students?

Our accreditation standards dictate that the number of students enrolled must be in proportion to the resources available to the program. Those resources include the number of potential patients, financial support, the size of facilities (number of clinic and lab stations), the equipment and technology available and the number of qualified faculty.

Our clinic has 23 dental chairs, thereby allowing for 24 or 25 students, as at least one or two students rotate during each clinic session into on- or off-campus rotations that don’t require a chair. We normally accept 24 so that we have an even number of students for partner activities.

Dental Hygiene is a licensed profession that is very rigorous in its education. It has made the lists of best programs for the earnings you can make compared to the degree needed to enter the profession and has put the profession in high demand.

What’s the cost of the program?

This is outlined on our website under the Costs tab. It tends to increase annually, but estimates for the first-year total just over $8,000, and for second year, the total is approximately $6,000.

Does Wake Tech have a waiting list for the Dental Hygiene program?

No, names are not placed on a waitlist. Students not admitted to a program must reapply the following year and compete for a slot in the program with a new pool of applicants.

Are letters of recommendation required for admission? Is an admissions interview necessary?

No. Letters of recommendation and interviews are neither required nor considered in the admissions process. Admissions criteria are based on objective, rather than subjective, data.

Are courses transferred from another college accepted as transfer credit into Dental Hygiene?

Once a student is accepted into the Dental Hygiene program, transcripts are reviewed by Health Sciences Admissions to determine transfer credit.

Does my citizenship status impact me getting in the program and obtaining a license?

The college and the program follow guidelines for admission related to residency status. You may graduate from the program and not be a U.S. citizen, but you might not be eligible for a dental hygiene license, per federal laws.

In North Carolina, to obtain a dental hygiene license, you need to be a U.S. citizen or have resident status. If you are on an F-1 student visa or are a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program participant, you are not eligible, at this time, for licensure after graduation.

For more information on obtaining a North Carolina Dental Hygiene license, visit the State Board of Dental Examiners website.

If I have a bachelor’s degree, will the program still take two years to complete?

Yes, it is a lock-step curriculum with courses that must be taken in the order of the Program Planning Guide. The program also has five clinical courses that each are prerequisites to others, so each student will be enrolled for at least four semesters and a summer term in between.

As a Wake Tech Dental Assisting program graduate, am I required to send my high school transcripts?

Generally, no. Transcripts are stored in the Admissions Office, but check with staff there to be certain.

How do I change my curriculum code to Dental Hygiene?

The first step is to attend an information session on Dental Hygiene or Dental Assisting. You may then schedule a meeting with an admissions counselor to make the change.

What skills are necessary to be a successful Dental Hygiene student?

Students need to excel in sciences, be organized and be diligent in their studies. They need to have strong psycho-motor skills and spatial relations. Students need to be good problem solvers.

In addition, when working with patients, they need to be firm when needed and empathetic when needed. Good listening and communication skills are necessary. Being flexible is needed, as each patient is different – we can’t be black and white in our profession, as we will deal with a lot of gray.

Of utmost importance is being ethical and of good moral character.

What’s a day in the life of a Dental Hygiene student like?

Students are in classes Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. While not all time is scheduled during the week, students are asked to hold these times in case of any make-up sessions, Individualized Learning Center skills labs sessions, open labs and clinic chart room time.

Many students choose to study during the day between classes on campus. Students also have several labs and clinics in addition to lecture classes, so it is busier than the schedule looks. They spend most evenings and weekends studying as well – it is a full-time commitment to be in the program.

Why does it appear I can take the general education courses and core courses at the same time?

The design for an Associate in Applied Science degree program in North Carolina needs to reflect that it can be completed in two years. However, students are more successful in the program if the non-DEN courses are taken ahead of the DEN courses in the curriculum. They are part of the competitive admissions process.

Why can't I enroll in the DEN classes prior to being accepted into the program?

The Dental Hygiene program has a lock-step curriculum. The DEN courses are sequenced so that the information provided in and the knowledge gained from each forms the foundation for the following courses. They must be taken in order as listed on the Program Planning Guide.

Also, per our accreditation standards, to take the DEN courses, you must be accepted into the program and coded as a Dental Hygiene student.

What’s the clinical schedule?

The clinic schedules vary by semester. Pre-clinic is two, three-hour sessions. Clinic I is two, 4.5-hour sessions. Clinics II, III and IV are three, four-hour sessions. All sessions are scheduled Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Can I work while in the clinical program?

It is not recommended to work during the program, especially not full-time. Classes are scheduled Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. But if we have weather delays or cancellations, etc., we need to make up all clinics, labs and classes missed and may need to schedule on an evening or weekend.

What are the patient requirements?

Patient requirements vary by semester and year and may change. They are reviewed at the start of each semester along with syllabus review for our clinical courses.

Students will treat patients in all age range categories – pediatric (from age 4), adolescent, adult and geriatric. Students will also be required to treat patients with special needs, and a variety of levels of gum health and tartar will also be treated.

How are patients located for the clinic?

Students are required to help locate patients for the clinic and are supplemented by a clinic pool of patients.

Only Wake Tech-approved ads, supplied to the students once accepted into the program, can be used to recruit patients.