Best 7 Dental Hygienist Schools in North Carolina

If you are looking for dental hygienist schools in North Carolina, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have narrowed your search to only the best ones to give you a leg up with the application process.

Dental hygiene is one of the most rewarding professions in oral health. When it comes to providing preventative dental care in North Carolina, dental hygienists stand on the front line. You may have wondered how this course is different from dentistry and the others in the family.

Well, dental hygienists are more like the ones who put things in place for dentists. Think of them as predecessors to dentists, and they stand very independently of them.

Where a dentist diagnoses and treats diseases affecting the teeth and gums, a dental hygienist’s job is to make sure those diseases don’t occur. This they do by cleaning teeth, performing periodontal scaling and root planning, and educating patients about the right kinds of oral hygiene routines they will need to practice at home to achieve optimal oral health. Some dental hygienists can administer anesthesia for dental procedures and also do dental X-rays.

If you are looking to become an entry-level dental hygienist in North Carolina, you should keep in mind that this role will require you to obtain either an associate’s degree or a certificate in dental hygiene from an accredited dental hygiene school and state certification.

There are places where you can obtain online associate degrees for free, and some even as little as six months. You may also check out these accredited online colleges in North Carolina for some inspiration.

Once a holder of an associate’s degree or certification in dental hygiene, you have the option of pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dentistry for career advancement.

Requirements for Dental Hygienist Schools in North Carolina

To apply for a Dental hygiene program in any 2- or 4-year school in North Carolina, you will be required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. You may also need to have a minimum high school grade point average.

Below are some of the application documents that you may be required to submit:

Some dental schools are a bit easier to get into than others. If you are seeking the easy route, here is an article to guide you.

The Average Cost of Dental Hygienist Schools in North Carolina

The average cost of a two-year dental hygiene program in a community college in North Carolina is $3,660. This may surge up to  $40,620 if the degree is affiliated with a Dental College.

For four-year schools offering Bachelor of Dental Hygiene degree programs, residents will pay up to $17,000 in tuition for public universities and $75,000 for private universities.

There are also master’s degree programs for dental hygienists who are interested in research or teaching. These programs take one or two years, and their costs range between $22,000 (for North Carolina residents at a school that accepts public funding) to $68,200 (at a private university.)

While you process your admission, you may also keep yourself busy with some of these free online dental courses. They offer you a certificate of completion at the end of each course.

Best Dental Hygienist Programs in North Carolina

  • Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Central Carolina Community College, Sanford
  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte
  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville
  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville
  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Halifax Community College, Weldon
  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene at Wayne Community College, Goldsboro

How to Become a Licensed Dental Hygienist in North Carolina

To become a licensed dental hygienist in North Carolina, one must complete the following steps, as required by the Board:

  • Complete an Accredited Dental Hygiene Program
  • Pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
  • Take and Pass the Required Regional Clinical Examination
  • Apply for a Dental Hygiene License in North Carolina
  • Maintain a Dental Hygienist License in North Carolina

dental hygienist schools in north carolina

Best 7 Dental Hygienist Schools in North Carolina

Based on our findings, below are some of the best dental hygienist schools in North Carolina. You can go through them carefully to see which of the school offers programs that meet your demand.

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  2. Central Carolina Community College, Sanford
  3. Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte
  4. Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville 
  5. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville
  6. Halifax Community College, Weldon
  7. Wayne Community College, Goldsboro

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina stands tall as the first dental school in North Carolina and the only one that offers a baccalaureate level program in dental hygiene. The university offers a two-year Certificate in Dental Hygiene, which is equivalent to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in the field, and a four-year Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH).

These two programs have the same core curriculum but the baccalaureate level program entails completing additional general education courses in liberal arts and social sciences which explains why the program takes a total of four years.

If you are keen on attending any of the reputable dental hygienist schools in North Carolina, depending on your career goals, you can choose between the two programs available at the University of North Carolina while keeping in mind that they also offer a 22-month Master’s in Dental Hygiene which you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene to be eligible for.

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2. Central Carolina Community College, Sanford

If flexibility is at the top of your demand while searching for the best dental hygienist school in North Carolina, then Central Carolina Community College is the school for you.

The college offers an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene, a five-semester program part of whose coursework you can complete online while taking care of your other engagements. The college glimmers with quality education which is accentuated by its state-of-the-art facility, equipped with the latest equipment. You stand to gain a lot here, such as exceptional clinical experiences and internship opportunities, to name a few.

Graduation requires completing 71 credits in courses such as human anatomy, physiology, orofacial anatomy, infection control, dental radiology, biological chemistry, dental pharmacology, and dental materials.

3. Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte

Central Piedmont Community College is one of the few dental hygienist schools in North Carolina where you get to benefit from extensive hands-on training which you will experience at the college’s dental clinic.

The college offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene with a total of 76 credit hours. Coursework includes general education courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, expository writing, public speaking, math, and sociology, and part of these can equally be completed online.

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4. Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville

Here comes another one of the best dental hygienist schools in North Carolina with a dental clinic where students can get hands-on on a regular basis in order to gain the exposure they need to thrive in this field.

Fayetteville Technical Community College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene which runs for five semesters. The admission process is quite competitive here, and students are required to have prerequisites in areas like biology, algebra, and chemistry.

5. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville

One of the perks of studying at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is that you get to learn in a serene environment. This beautiful and picturesque campus is nestled in the vibrant, mountain city of Asheville.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene which is completed in five semesters. Students will be required, however, to complete general education courses in anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry before they can start the first semester.

6. Halifax Community College, Weldon

Halifax Community College is a public institution that is situated in Weldon, a town in Halifax County, North Carolina. The college is one of the oldest schools in the state and it offers a two-year intensive training for an associate degree in dental hygiene.

The program totals 73 credit hours and students are required to have a little experience in dental assisting in other to determine if this is the right path for them. They will also get to study in a collaborative environment where they will learn to provide dental hygiene care and be part of a dental care team. 

Upon completion of the coursework, you can go on and take the state licensure and the national dental hygiene board examinations.

7. Wayne Community College, Goldsboro

Wayne Community College is another great option for anyone looking for the best dental hygienist schools in North Carolina. The college boasts of highly educated faculty and strives toward creating a learning environment that boosts academic excellence.

Wayne Community College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene which will be completed in four semesters. At the beginning of the program, students will receive an orientation that briefs them about the learning environment and how they can succeed in their chosen field.

Upon completing the entire coursework, students will be eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam and the North Carolina state licensure exam.

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Conclusion

We have come to the end of the list. Take your time to go through the individual schools and see what their requirements and eligibility criteria look like. If you meet the requirements and if the schools, in turn, meet your demands, why not give it a shot?

Good luck!

We have answered some of your questions in the box below.

Dental Hygienist Schools in North Carolina – FAQs

How long does it take to become a dental hygienist in NC?

It all depends on the type of program. A bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene can take up to 4 years to complete, whereas an associate degree will take approximately 2 years.

What is the salary of a dental hygienist in NC?

On average, a dental hygienist in North Carolina earns an annual salary of $71,140 in 2022.

How many dental hygienist schools are in North Carolina?

There are over 10 dental hygienist schools in North Carolina.

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