Dental Hygiene

What is a Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a licensed health care professional, oral health educator, and clinician who, as a co-therapist with the dentist, provide preventive, educational, and therapeutic services supporting total health for the control of oral diseases and the promotion of oral health.  A registered dental hygienist has graduated from a minimum two-year college program that includes classroom studies and extensive supervised clinical experience.  A dental hygienist also must pass a national written exam and a comprehensive state clinical exam to earn the RDH license. 

Generally, the dental hygienist may work in general and specialty oral health practices.  Other areas of employment include programs for research, professional education, and community health; hospital and institutional care of disabled persons; federal programs, such as the armed services; or other health service locations as specified in statue or as authorized by the state board of dentistry. Occupation Handbook -Dental Hygiene Career Info 

How Much Money do Dental Hygienists Make and What Are the Job Prospects?

Dental hygiene salaries can vary widely depending on factors including but not limited to type and location of practice, whether the work is full or part-time, and the hygienist's experience level.   According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a dental hygienist in the United States was $72,720 in 2015 and the mean hourly wage was$34.96 (

Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 33 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.  Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to spur demand for preventative dental services, which dental hygienists often provide.  New and increasingly accurate technologies to help diagnose oral health problems are also expected to increase demand.  Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but will vary by geographic location.  Because graduates are permitted to practice in the state in which they are licensed, hygienists wishing to practice in areas that have an abundance of dental hygiene programs may experience strong competition for jobs.

The Dental Hygiene program was granted the Accreditation Status of Approval without Reporting Requirements by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation at its 2010 site visit.  This status is awarded to an educational program indicating that the program achieves or exceeds the requirements for accreditation.  Site visits occur every seven years.

A copy of the Dental Hygiene Accreditation Standards and CODA Policies and Procedures, including those for complaints related to accreditation standards, may be found online at the or you may contact the Commission at:

The American Dental Association CODA
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Telephone: 1-800-621-8099 1-312-440-4653

We are located in Jones Hall which is a state-of-the art facility.  We run a Dental Hygiene Clinic 10 months out of the year which services our Amarillo community.  Every student has the opportunity to learn with live patients in the clinical setting. View map of Amarillo College West Campus

Your interest in the Dental Hygiene Program is appreciated! 

Please contact us to schedule an appointment:

Our Program Director:

Donna Cleere, RDH, M.Ed. (806)354-6064 or by e-mail at 

West Campus Jones Hall, Office 123
6222 West Ninth Street     
Amarillo, TX 79106 

Our Health Sciences Advisor: 

Javier Herrera  (806)354-6007 or by e-mail at

West Campus Lecture Hall-102A

6222 West Ninth Street     
Amarillo, TX 79106 

AC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion or disability in its educational programs, activities or employment policies.  Any student, who because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements, should contact Disability Services at 806-371-5639