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Thomas Nelson Community College Dental Hygiene

Last Updated on October 9, 2021 by

Dental Hygiene – Associate Degree

Dental Hygiene - Associate Degree

Program DetailsCredential: Associate of Applied ScienceAcademic Division: Public Safety, Allied Health and Human Services

Aspiring dental hygienists serving patients. Thomas Nelson’s Dental Hygiene program gives students the experience they need to serve area patients as they learn.

Students enrolled in the associate degree program benefit from small class sizes and hands-on experience in Thomas Nelson’s state-of-the-art facility at the Historic Triangle campus in Williamsburg. The facility isn’t just for students. Under the supervision of expert faculty, students provide affordable dental services for members of the community. Services include routine examination of teeth and soft tissue, scaling and polishing, diagnostic radiographs, oral cancer screening and sealants.

I have had a great experience with Thomas Nelson’s Dental Hygiene program. I have been able to learn the skills and knowledge needed to fulfill my dream of becoming a Registered Dental Hygienist. Choosing to enroll in Thomas Nelson’s Dental Hygiene program has allowed me to gain a high-quality education while being financially smart.Laura Sotack, class of 2014


Thomas Nelson’s Dental Hygiene program prepares students for the National Board and Southern Regional Board Examinations. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow 36 percent through 2018 with favorable job prospects in most areas. The demand for dental services will steadily increase because of population growth, the trend for senior citizens to retain more teeth and a growing emphasis on preventative dental care.

Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program

Learn more about the steps to be admitted to the Thomas Nelson Dental Hygiene Program including pre-requisites and additional requirements.

dental hygiene programs virginia

Student with patient

Contact us

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (804) 828-9096

The Dental Hygiene Program in the Department of General Practice offers courses leading to a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. The Dental Hygiene Program, which began in 1969, requires two years of liberal arts study, with a minimum of 60 semester hours, followed by two years of study focusing on basic and dental sciences, dental hygiene science and theory, community health, and preclinical and clinical experiences. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible for national, regional and state board licensing examinations.


The Dental Hygiene Program at Virginia Commonwealth University is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The commission’s web address is: 

The VCU Dental Hygiene Program Advantage

Attending the only dental hygiene program located within a dental school in the Commonwealth of Virginia, dental hygiene students at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry have a unique opportunity to work in integrated clinical settings alongside DDS students as well as with faculty members from dental hygiene, dentistry and specialty areas — gaining invaluable experiences as they learn the practice of dental hygiene while treating a highly diverse patient population. Academic excellence and clinical expertise are further supported by rotations through specialty areas (orthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, and pediatric dentistry) and community-based and private-practice clinics at collaborative service-learning sites throughout Virginia.

Employment resources

Employment of dental hygienists, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health to general health will continue to spur demand for preventive dental services, which are provided by dental hygienists.

Follow these links to learn more about professional opportunities for dental hygienists.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • American Dental Hygiene Association Career Center
  • MyDentalJobs
  • American Dental Association Career Center

Open house dates

The VCU Dental Hygiene Program holds information sessions for all of those interested. We will be going over the basics of the program, as well as going over admissions requirements and the application process. We will navigate through the website from beginning to end, highlighting the information that pertains to preparing for entry into our dental hygiene program. This is also a great opportunity to ask specific questions you may have. Although access to clinic areas is limited to patients, faculty, students and staff in accordance with OSHA guidelines, we will be able to tour the dental hygiene offices and classrooms.