Dental Hygiene

Application for Admission

The Department of Dental Hygiene awards a Bachelor of Science degree. Admissions criteria and the selection process vary from year to year. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Department of Dental Hygiene or access the department website after October 1 to obtain admissions information for the application year.

Students apply to the program on or before January 15 to be considered for fall semester admission. Students will be notified of their admission status by April 1, 2015. All core courses, MUST be completed by July 15 and all general education goal courses must be completed by August 3 of the year of application. If you are transferring to Idaho State University, refer to the Transfer Student section.

Important Factors to Consider before Applying:

Estimated Expenses: Expenses related to professional programs are often higher than programs not associated with health care disciplines. Therefore, program costs should be considered as part of the decision making process.

Dental Office Observation/Experience: Currently there is no formal requirement for dental office experience prior to being admitted to the Dental Hygiene program; however, it is beneficial for the applicant to be familiar with the work environment in which most hygienists are employed.

Students without dental office experience who are attending ISU can enroll in DENT 2220: Introduction to the Dental Office, as an elective. Other students are encouraged to observe in a dental office that employs a dental hygienist to become familiar with the dental team and the practice environment.

Disabilities: Idaho State University will make every effort to comply with "reasonable accommodations", according to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act. ISU will not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of students or employees with disabilities. Our program is committed to all students achieving their potential. If you have a disability or think you have a disability (physical, learning disability, hearing, vision, psychiatric) which may need a reasonable accommodation, please contact the ADA Disabilities & Resource Center as early as possible at the following address: ADA and Disabilities Resource Center, STOP 8121, Pocatello, ID 83209 (208) 282-3599.

Students as Patients: During the two-year Dental Hygiene Curriculum students are required to be "patients" for a student partner. Student partners practice dental hygiene procedures and pain control methods on each other.

Latex Allergy or Sensitivity and Cumulative Trauma Disorders:
Individuals who have a latex allergy/sensitivity or a cumulative trauma disorder (such as carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, tendonitis, lateral epicondylitis, etc.) should discuss the implications of these conditions with a physician and a dental hygiene faculty member. The severity of these conditions may adversely impact the individual's performance in the program and upon graduation, the practice of dental hygiene. Careful consideration of these conditions is imperative to a career in dental hygiene.

Patient Recruitment: Students have specific patient cases that are required throughout the curriculum. The department recruits patients through advertisements, the clinical recall system, and other mechanisms. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to recruit patients to fulfill required cases.

Immunization and Testing Policy: Policies and procedures for vaccinations, testing and post-exposure incidents have been developed to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) and extramural site recommendations or policies.

Idaho State University dental hygiene students, in the course of their clinical/academic duties have significant exposure to blood, blood products, tissue, secretions or body fluids of patients potentially containing hepatitis B (HBV) and are at risk for HBV as well as other infectious diseases. Unintentional punctures of the skin with contaminated instruments or needles sometimes occur despite careful technique. These factors increase student risk for contracting diseases.

Required Immunizations and CPR Certification: Documentation of required immunizations is required to begin the dental hygiene program. If HBV has not been completed or initiated at the time of application the vaccination series MUST be started by early January to assure completion prior to the program start date in August.

  • CPR with Basic Life Support (BLS) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification is required prior to beginning the junior year and must be maintained throughout the curriculum.
  • HBV vaccination verification and proof of immunity through a blood test. The student must receive antibody testing which shows him/her to have sufficient immunity after the three injection series has been received.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) testing by the PPD test and verification of the results (positive or negative). Results of a TB test must be submitted each year. In the event that the test is positive, the student will follow the physician's recommendations for treatment and submit verification that these recommendations are being followed.
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination verification or proof of immunity to Measles (Rubeola) and Rubella (German Measles) through a blood test.
  • It is also recommended that students are immunized with the Influenza; Diptheria and Tetanus (DT); Polio; and Chicken Pox (Varicella) vaccinations for additional protection.

If these vaccinations or TB testing are contraindicated or refused for medical, personal or age considerations, the student must sign the Vaccination Declination Form.

TB testing results and the MMR vaccination (or proof of immunity) are required by the policies of extramural sites. The Department cannot guarantee participation in extramural rotations should the student choose not to comply with these requirements.

Vaccinations and testing can be received at any District Health Department, Idaho State University Student Health, or through the student's personal physician. Costs associated with the vaccinations and testing are the responsibility of the student.

Infectious Diseases: When a prospective student contracts an infectious disease, he/she should consider how that status would affect his/her future in healthcare. Information to help make decisions about one's future as a student or healthcare worker is available through a district health department or personal physician. In cases when a prospective student discloses that he/she has an infectious disease, the case will be reported to the State Epidemiologist who will assess if the student performs invasive procedures. When the assessment determines that exposure-prone procedures are performed, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will assess, through an expert review panel, the risk of the worker-to-client exposure. When the panel determines that the risk of client exposure is high, the individual will be referred to the Idaho State Board of Dentistry for evaluation of the procedures performed, fitness to practice, and future practice restrictions. All evaluations and assessments remain confidential. The determination of whether an individual poses a significant risk to clients will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It may be necessary to modify educational methods, employment responsibilities, and/or treatment protocols based on the results of the expert review panel and the licensing board review.