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Dental hygienist working with child patient

Dental Hygiene - Associate Degree

Dental hygienists are among the most sought-after healthcare professionals in today’s workforce.

Eastern Florida’s fully accredited two-year Dental Hygiene Associate in Science degree prepares students to pass national and state licensure exams and trains them how to provide educational, preventative, and clinical services. Hygienists provide oral healthcare to patients in dental offices, public health and long-term care facilities, and other settings.

Training at EFSC in our hands-on Dental Clinic includes learning how to remove deposits from teeth, provide instruction on personal oral hygiene and disease prevention, perform oral x-rays of teeth and related oral structures, and apply topical fluoride and pit and fissure sealants.

Commission on Dental Accreditation

Eastern Florida’s Dental Hygiene A.S. degree program is accredited through the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). See more on accreditation below.

Dental Hygiene - Associate Degree

Program Overview

Degree Type
Associate in Science (A.S.)
Delivery Method
Total Credit Hours
Academic Community
Health Sciences
Contact Information

Health Science Advising 
Email Advising 



Students complete at least two years of academic study, including clinical practice under the supervision of EFSC faculty in the College's Dental Clinic and external clinic practice sites. 

During the final semester of the program, students are eligible to take the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam. Upon graduation and successful completion of that exam, graduates may apply for and take state licensure examinations in any of the 50 states to become a Certified Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). This RDH designation represents accreditation, trust, and a professional credential you have earned and will preserve through continued lifelong education.

Also, program graduates will receive the state "Expanded Functions Certificate" and "Local Anesthesia Administration Certificate" which enable them to perform designated tasks and delivery of local anesthesia, as permitted by the Florida Board of Dentistry.

Dental Hygiene A.S. - Admissions Information

EFSC’s Dental Hygiene program is limited access and has a specialized application and selection process. Core courses begin each May and the annual application deadline is February 15th. Follow the steps below to apply:

  1. Meet with a Health Sciences advisor to review program requirements and the selection process. Dental Hygiene selection for admission is guided by a selection point scale. Discussing this with a health science advisor before you apply is required as part of the process.
  2. Apply for Admission: Interested students must review and complete the customized Dental Hygiene Application Process. Completed application files are due by the annual deadline. (If the deadline has passed, contact a health sciences advisor to see if seats may be available for a late application.)
  3. Review complete program information. Check out all the details on this page and look over common questions and answers about the program. 
  4. If selected or chosen as an alternate, complete Accepted & Alternate Student RequirementsStudents accepted in the Dental Hygiene A.S. program are required to complete and pass a background check, drug screening, and comply with immunization requirements.

Dental Hygiene Costs & Financial Aid Eligibility

Estimated expenses, including tuition and fees if you qualify for Florida resident tuition, for EFSC’s Dental Hygiene A.S. program total approximately $16,200.

Financial assistance is available to support you throughout the program. You may qualify for financial aid and scholarships, including Titan Scholarships funded through the EFSC Foundation such as the Guy and Delores Spearman "Happy Smiles Happy Kids" Scholarship discussed in the video that's specifically for dental hygiene students. Additionally, there are community-based external scholarships that you can explore to help cover the costs of your education.

Courses You Would Take

The curriculum includes the courses you need to become skilled in dental hygiene, with the opportunity to practice what you are learning in EFSC's public Dental Clinic and lab. Here several courses you will take:

Why study dental hygiene at EFSC?

The Hands-on Training Difference
  • Practice in our public Dental Clinic while treating patients from the community 
  • The newest technology in dental hygiene and digital radiology equipment
  • Potential externships in various settings, including community health clinics and at Patrick Space Force Base 
  • Participation with program faculty as a community health provider and at community events 
  • Service learning opportunities both during the program and after graduation
  • Experienced, diverse faculty members, some of whom are EFSC graduates, who hold higher education credentials on the master’s and doctorate levels
Partnerships for Networking and a Bachelor Pathway

EFSC’s mentorship partnership with the Florida Dental Hygiene Association helps graduates with networking and finding employment opportunities. Local dental offices regularly contact our faculty seeking new dental hygiene graduates to hire.

Eastern Florida State College has a Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Applied Science Transfer Agreement with St. Petersburg College. The online program's articulation agreement allows EFSC graduates to transfer credits into the bachelor program for expanded career opportunities in practice management, sales, or education.

Nationally Accredited Program

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. CODA can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

The program must solicit third-party comments through appropriate notification of communities of interest and the public such as faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers that pertain to the standards of policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process. The accreditation happens every 7 years. The next site visit will be in 2025. All third party comments are due in the Commission's office no later than 60 days prior to the site visit.

Related Programs Information

As you consider the Dental Hygiene A.S., you can also explore other dental program options, plus EFSC's Bachelor of Applied Science programs that can be an option for a seamless transition with an associate degree.