Pierce dental hygiene grads earn high scores on board exams


All 16 June graduates of the Pierce College dental hygiene program have passed their board examinations with flying colors, making them eligible for licensure.

“Our graduates must successfully pass seven separate examinations to be eligible for licensure,” according to Monica Hospenthal, director of the dental hygiene department. “These tests include an eight hour comprehensive written exam and three to four additional days of combined clinical, lab and written examinations.”

On the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination, the combined average of the class of 2013 was 1 standard deviation above the national average.

“Highlights included scoring approximately 2.7 standard deviation above the national average in Professionalism, 2 standard deviation above the national average in Periodontology, 1.85 standard deviation above the national average in Supportive Treatment, and 1.75 standard deviation above the national average in both Radiology and Anatomic Sciences,” Hospenthal said.

On the Western Regional Board Examinations, nine of the 16 graduates scored 96 percent or above on “the entire dental hygiene exam removal portion,” Hospenthal said.

“I’m thrilled. We expect our students to be stellar.” Hospenthal said. “But it’s exciting to see them not only meet our expectations, but exceed them.”

The Pierce Dental Hygiene program has been accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)* for more than 30 years. It enjoys national acclaim and recognition for consistently graduating clinically skilled and intellectually strong dental hygiene clinicians.

The school operates a dental hygiene clinic, which sees patients from the community. The clinic incorporates the latest technology, including office management software, digital radiography, and computer-assisted anesthesia.

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