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International Journal of Dental Hygiene - Early View - now available.


Despite expansion of the scope of practice and clinical responsibilities of dental hygienists since 1945, the degrees granted for dental hygiene remain the same. 


Today, an associate's degree requires 60 credits. Descriptive statistics revealed that 2-year dental hygienists in 1945 completed the equivalent of 112 contact hours compared to 157 contact hours for associate degree dental hygienists today, a difference of 45 contact hours. Bachelor degree dental hygienists complete 170 contact hours, a difference of 13 contact hours more than associate degree dental hygienists today.  


Dental hygiene education in community colleges today far surpasses the associate degrees granted and should be recognized at the baccalaureate level.