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A Dental Hygiene student and faculty member working on a patient at the Dental Hygiene Care Center.
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Dental Hygiene Department

Contact Information

Maureen Tsokris RDH, EdD ~ Chairperson

Tel 631-420-2060
Fax 631-420-2582

Dental Hygiene

The Farmingdale State College Dental Hygiene Program ranked #7 out of the top 50 dental hygiene programs. Dental hygiene is the study of preventive oral healthcare and the management of behaviors required to prevent oral disease and promote health. It is a licensed healthcare profession that supports total health through the promotion of oral health and wellness. As a member of the healthcare team, the dental hygienist integrates the roles of clinical practitioner, educator, consumer advocate, manager, change agent, and researcher to promote and maintain oral wellness and, thereby, contribute to the quality of life.

Preventive oral healthcare includes:

  • Preventive oral health services delivered by dental health professionals
  • Therapeutic interventions that address oral conditions through treatment services
  • Removal of barriers for access to preventive oral health services
  • Promotion of patient compliance with professional recommendations for oral healthcare
  • Provision of oral health educational outreach to special populations

Farmingdale State College offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene which leads to licensure and certification and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene which expands career opportunities for licensed Dental Hygienists. The following is a description of both the Associate and Baccalaureate degree programs offered at Farmingdale State University of New York. 

Associate in Applied Science Program

The program of study prepares students for licensure and entry into the profession of Dental Hygiene, as well as certification in the administration of local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide. The Department is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.  Graduates receive an Associate in Science Degree and are eligible to sit for the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and Northeast Regional Board Examination for dental hygienists. The program provides students with a diverse, well-rounded, clinical background. Clinical experiences take place at Farmingdale State's Dental Hygiene Care Center and at local health care facilities.

As the need for dental hygiene care continues to grow throughout the nation, many new and varied opportunities are available for graduates in a wide array of work settings. Although the clinical role is most closely associated with dental hygiene, it is only one of six roles officially designated for the hygienist, which include educator, researcher, administrator, change agent, and consumer advocate. The Dental Hygiene Program at Farmingdale State incorporates all the roles of the Dental Hygienist into the theoretical framework and practical experiences of the curriculum. The program provides general education, as well as specialized courses in the biomedical and oral sciences.

Students perform a variety of comprehensive services at the College's technologically advanced Dental Hygiene Care Center. Among these services are thorough assessment of oral conditions, non-surgical periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing of teeth), exposing, processing and interpreting oral x-rays, patient education and nutritional counseling.

Typical Employment Opportunities

  • Private Dental Offices
  • Managed Care Facilities
  • Public Health Agencies
  • Private Care Centers
  • Armed Forces
  • Hospitals
  • Geriatric Facilities

Bachelor Degree Completion Program

The dental hygiene profession is expanding to include new career opportunities, many of which require advanced degrees. Farmingdale State's Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science Degree Program is a degree completion program designed to provide comprehensive upper-level study in the discipline of dental hygiene. The program offers foundation courses in the areas of teaching, research and public health that will prepare graduates for positions in these emerging new healthcare roles.

One unique feature of the Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science Degree Program is the capstone Practicum Course. This course is taken in the last semester of study and provides students with an opportunity to further explore a specific area of interest through an internship. The course offers hands-on practical experience. Based on personal interest, students may partner with corporations, hospitals, public health programs/facilities, educational institutions, and research laboratories. Personal mentors are assigned to each student to guide them through their practicum experience.

Typical Employment Opportunities

  • Dental Hygiene Education
  • Pharmaceutical Corporations
  • State and Local Public Health Agencies
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • Research Laboratories
  • Developmental Disability Foundations
  • Armed Forces Hospitals
  • Managed Care Facilities
  • Insurance Companies
  • Geriatric Facilities
  • Dental Supply Companies