What is a Registered Dental Hygienist?
Dental hygiene is a fast-growing and rewarding profession for men and women interested in a career in the health sector. Dental hygiene is the 6th largest regulated heath profession in Canada with over 28,000 practitioners. Registered Dental Hygienists are highly educated, licensed and regulated healthcare professionals whose education and practice focus on the prevention of oral disease and the promotion of overall health and well-being. Dental Hygienists can work independent of or alongside a dentist and are an important part of the health care team.
Dental hygienists practice in a variety of settings, including private dental practices, independent dental hygiene practice; public health facilities, hospitals, long term care facilities, educational institutions, research and dental industry. Dental Hygienists often have the flexibility to work full or part time in these various settings.
Dental hygienists provide services and programs to people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. Responsibilities of the dental hygienist include:
Patient assessment; identification of patient health status and needs; planning for patient care; delivering education and patient services and assessing the outcomes of care provided.
Specific clinical duties may include medical history taking; performing routine head and neck examinations; dental and periodontal examinations; exposing of dental images; oral hygiene education; administration of local anesthetic; scaling of teeth and preventative fluoride applications.
Our graduates are career-ready and are highly employable. CNC graduates are highly sought after and are employed in dental practices, residential care facilities, public health units, community care centers, educational programs and independent dental hygiene practices. Average hourly salary in BC is approx. $42 per hour. Yearly average salary is approximately $67,000.
The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. When you graduate, you’re eligible to write Canadian and American national certification exams.
Learning experience at CNC
CNC dental hygiene program offers small class sizes and a 1:6 ratio of faculty to students in the clinical setting. Our clinic is equipped with 20 dental operatories and 4 radiography rooms with computerized dental stations and digital radiography and record keeping abilities. Students are activity involved in our dental clinic providing patient-centered oral healthcare care services.
Our dental hygiene curriculum also includes community-based student activities. For example, CNC Dental Studies works collaboratively with the Northern Health Authority to deliver a Seal in a Smile program to elementary school aged children annually. Students experience community service-learning, and deliver education and oral health services to local community partners. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Health Care Traveling Roadshow.
Join this fast-growing and rewarding profession for men and women interested in a career in the health sector.
Dental Hygiene Diploma Courses
CNC's program prepares you to work in private/group practices, dental clinics, public health, and more. Dental hygienists today are dental health educators, teaching patients about oral hygiene and promoting dental health in the community.
Locations & Dates
CNC programs have varying lengths and start dates to meet your needs, and are offered across multiple campuses where possible. Don’t see the campus you’re looking for? Check back with us soon as this page is updated throughout the school year.
- All of the following or their equivalents at a first-year college/university level, with an average GPA of 3.0 (“B”) with no grade lower than a “C” in any of the prerequisite courses:
- Biology 111 and 112 (Human Anatomy and Physiology, with labs) or equivalent
- Chemistry 111 and 112, or Chemistry 113 and 114, or equivalent
- Psychology 101 and 102 or equivalent
- English 103 or equivalent, plus one additional first-year English course
- Math 104 or Psychology 201 or equivalent
- One university-level elective
The university transfer courses must be transferable to and from other BC institutions. Refer to the BC Transfer Guide to ensure course equivalencies from and to other educational institutions. It is highly recommended applicants discuss their first-year college/university course choices with a CNC counsellor/advisor.
Need help meeting these requirements? Check out our Academic Upgrading options.
Note: March 15 is the deadline to submit documents for early conditional acceptance. At that time, the GPA score will be based on a minimum of 5 Dental Hygiene prerequisites completed. Reference letters and the Candidate’s Questionnaire (CQ) must also be completed by March 15. The CQ can be accessed online and completed at the applicant’s convenience (see the Dental Hygiene Application Package for more information). Students must still submit final transcripts for all prerequisites by May 18, verifying that all of the prerequisite courses meet the minimum admission requirements of an average GPA of 3.0 (“B”) with no grade lower than a “C”.
Note: Two seats will be reserved for qualified aboriginal applicants.
Note: Two seats will be reserved for qualified international student applicants.
Program requirements and general information
- Official college forms certifying current immunizations and dental and health examinations. You will receive these forms as part of CNC’s acceptance process, and you must complete them before the program starts. You must also be vaccinated for Hepatitis B. The costs of immunizations are your responsibility.
- You will have to undergo a criminal record search with the BC Ministry of Justice at the beginning of the program. The cost of this search is your responsibility. A search which identifies relevant criminal convictions may prevent you from entering clinical or practicum setting components of the program and therefore may not enable you to graduate.
- Upon entry into the program, students must provide documentation of CPR certification, level C (preferred) or Health Care Provider (HCP). CPR online courses are not acceptable. Students are responsible for the costs of CPR certification and must maintain certification while in the program.
- The Skills and Abilities Information form must be completed. The form requires the applicant to verify that he or she understands the personal and physical attributes required to be successful in the program and understands the duties and responsibilities of the dental hygiene profession.
- All program requirements must be completed within five years of initial enrolment.
- All Dental Hygiene courses must maintain a “B-” as a pass grade and any grade lower than 68.0% will result in an “F” grade. • Word processing and Internet experience are necessary for students registered in the program.
- Dental Studies graduates are required to undergo criminal records searches as part of the process of licensure. Any costs are the responsibility of the student.
- In addition to expenses of tuition, textbooks, and uniforms, students are expected to purchase their own instruments and miscellaneous clinic supplies and to cover the cost of CPR training. Specific information regarding the purchase of equipment, clinical attire, textbooks, and other costs will be provided in an acceptance letter and during the first week of class.
- Dental hygienists need good eyesight. Before you’re accepted into the program, it’s strongly recommended that you have an eye examination and obtain corrective eyewear if needed.
The Dental Studies Department of the College of New Caledonia believes in providing credit for previous education that directly relates to either the Dental Hygiene or Dental Assisting program. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate they have previously met the goals and objectives of a particular course.
The student must approach the Program Coordinator with the request to have his/her credentials evaluated as they relate to a course. The Program Coordinator, in consultation with the instructor responsible for the course, will evaluate the student’s credentials. The student must provide copies of transcripts and course syllabi with course objectives as part of their credentials, then meet with Academic Advisor to start process.
Challenges for all courses must be submitted within three weeks after the program starts. The student should attend all classes until it is determined if credit is granted. Students will be advised of the Exemption and Assessment Policy in their program acceptance letters.
Refer to “Admissions, fees and policy information” in this calendar for policy and fee information on exemptions, challenge exams, and prior learning assessment.
When there are more applicants than seats available, the following criteria will be used to select 100% of the class:
GPA based on Dental Hygiene prerequisites (2.67–4.33 points) 4.33
Completion of the Dental Hygiene prerequisites in a consecutive 24-month period 1.00
Resident of BC or the Yukon 1.00
One of the following: 1.00
- Completion of DENO 150, Certified Dental Assisting program, Dental Receptionist program
- Employment in a dental office (3 months full time or equivalent)
Note: Volunteer experience does not count
Persistent interest in the program, as shown by repeated qualified applications 1.00
The reference letters and Candidate’s Questionnaire for the top 50 candidates will be scored:
- Two reference letters (0–1 points) 1.00
- Candidate’s Questionnaire (1–2 points) 2.00
Invest in your future
The estimated cost for this program is $29,677.
- Tuition: $21,747
- Common fees: $1,367
- Dental Fees: $6,563